May Day Poem:
Tree of Life
Tree of Life listen in RealAudio |
Let us take suffering down
from the tree of life.
Our only sin is belief
in belief, the hope that nailing pain
to the wood of a cross would somehow
make a difference, somehow ease,
lighten our heavy burden.
But nothing has changed,
prayers go unanswered, and
the same old tired song
goes on and on
Does the tree feel pain
Does it need someone, some
ideal, to direct its growth?
We sleep deep in the sweet illusions
of self-made visions,
seeing only what we want to see.
What is born again is the image.
Not something sacred, not something true,
but just another cheap picture
to hang on the walls of our selves.
Rejecting the symbol, trading in
the crown of thorns for a machine gun
or book of German verse is not enough, for
Who is doing the rejecting?
Who is waiting for this most recent
sacrifice to be repaid in full?
The young boy cuts his name
into the oak.
The grown man returns and
not a trace is left,
the desire for permanence having
disappeared into the
living tissues of life.
But our soul-scars last a lifetime,
wounds scratched open with each passing day,
like ruts cut deep in the soft spring earth,
a hungry animal spiraling endlessly,
back and forth, chained --
to a tree.