Monday, September 17, 2012

My Little Patch of Eden in the Asphalt Lands: Part Two

My little patch of Eden
In the Asphalt Lands

You stand there
A testament against cynics,
And the unbelievers

With your branches outstretched
With blossoms
Of which this world is not worthy

They are dazzling
In their dew

Under the morning light
Pink and delicate

But you have been ever faithful
To produce your fruit
In the midst of upheaval

How I wish to be like you

My little patch of Eden
In the Asphalt Lands

My family has lived in the same ranch house since the 1960s. There are many trees here that have been here since that date, or before they moved in. I am writing a series of poems on the most significant trees, the trees I climbed, the trees I planted, the trees I sat in for refuge from a troubled childhood.

The crab apple tree is significant because her continued survival was so unlikely. Every year since I was born I heard how she was dying, how she needed to be cut down. There were years when half of her branches wouldn't blossom or have any leaves. When I was older and learned things about trees after working at the plant nursery, I went out and pruned her long, spindly, branches and mulched around her tired roots. The next spring she was still struggling, but there was noted improvement.

This year, I had forgotten about her. I didn't notice her until this morning. Every single branch is covered in those delicate pink blossoms. She is glistening in the morning light. She is alive, despite the naysayers.

This is the first well-crafted poem I've written in months. I was discouraged this past summer by a number of troubling events. I died a little inside. And I was also discouraged because I was living in Donne's shadow. How I admire his work. But I am the product of a post-modern generation, and my mind is not structured in rhymes and preset formulas. I am a stream of conciousness animal, and my poetry will have to reflect who I am, and literary snobs will simply have to deal with my "lesser art-form."

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