CLIFF CREGO | WHITE OAK with lightning scare & MAY DAY: Tree of Life

WHITE OAK with lightning scare & MAY DAY: Tree of Life, [click photo for next . . . ]
a meditation on cultural and spiritual freedom . . .


"The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself in the
service of others."

Mohandas Gandhi 

I don't wish to here shock or offend any of my
readers, but I feel that the image of a savior,
as I see it, nailed to the tree of life is an utterly
ugly and repulsive image.

(Early crusifixes—an appalling word in itself—were more
stylised trees than formal crosses, as they still
are to this day in the rugged mountains of the Alps.)

Why? Simply becasue I think it is a sin against
Nature herself. Both a sin against trees, probably the
most grand and beautiful and exemplary creatures on our
wonderful blue planet of peace. But also because it
glorifies in a distorted way suffering. Especially
the suffering of someone else that I neither want
nor need. Like soldiers of Empire the world would,
in my view, be much better without. I shall suffer and
fight for my own inner liberation and freedom. Thank

But I also strongly object to what I see as the
colonization of sacred natural time. Like expropriating
MAY DAY—the simple yet profound celebration of
3/8ths of the Solar Year and the Earth's marvelous
and wonderful re-awakening of abundance—for other
purposes. So now, we have in the West, either a
thoroughly cheapened and commercialized "Mother's Day,"
to celebrate both motherhood and organized trade unions,
but not like this, and not on MAY DAY.

May Day, in my opinion, is and should be what is always
has been. The dance around the great gift of our great
friends, the tree spirits about us.

The narrative, metaphysical poem below, takes on
in sound and rhythm, some of these themes.

On the road in the Northwest of America.


From a single trunk, a thousand branches;

From a thousand rivulets and rills, a single stream.

Simple to complex; Complex to simple.

Complexity is richness, is diversity, is always good.

Complicatedness, or the unnecessarily convoluted or

difficult, is always bad.

, because of the contradictory, meaningless

way it wastes energy, is never a part of natural systems.


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
and on.

Does the tree feel pain
in change?
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.

| download TREE OF LIFE mp3 [5.4 Mb] |

THE LITTLE CLAVIER please preview 150 of 631 pages
w/ my black & white photography [opens in new window]

Granite Mountain—
last light
Avalanche chute
Camas Lily

Featured gallery, mountain water . . . .
If you're a picture-poems fan, please visit my Living Water Gallery—some of
the best of my flowform photography w/ a selection of the highest quality
prints & frames . . . [ mouse over for controls / lower right fro full-screen ]

All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999-2011
(created: IV.30.2011)