Surrounded as I am by many faces of beauty
Trees of every shape, color, texture and size
They create a complex unity of being
Unknown by many save in their dreaming hours
The Wholeness of the forest.
Can I choose a favorite, a tree beloved above all?
The incense cedar with its witch's broom
Swaying gently in the mountain breeze
The ash and its red autumn foliage
Hanging in the air like droplets
Grace incarnate to rival any poem ever written.
No, I cannot choose a favorite
One does not command superiority over the others
The broad-leafed maple and the needle fir
It is the distinctions between the two,
The complexity and the diversity is a beauty unto itself
Deserving its own praise.
The Earth has many wonders, each its own shape, color and texture.
Can one claim the better over all other places?
How absurd an idea, to presume an oak greater than the willow.
On a lazy noon-time street, the sky a brilliant blue
I stopped to admire the dappled pattern of sunlight
On a patchwork of leaves upon a cobblestone walk
I heard a sound opposite an ivy covered wall
A sound of joy and beauty
Of children at play
We should cultivate such sounds as we do gold
Though one be greater for us in the end.
What was hidden, not readily apparent
By the ivy facade of the high stone wall
Was that I was in Hiroshima and the children were Japanese
Their voices held laugher and joy
Indistinguishable from a playground in Mississippi.
The blossoms of the cherry tree are legendary.
Just as the forest is better served for survival
And its beauty complete and whole
When its citizens are diverse and free
So too are trees of the world
When viewed for their essential nature
The ever-present beauty.
The credence of freedom is best realized
When held in complex views
By different societies and cultures
In different forest we see different species
And yet the essential make up is ever the same
The citizens may change, the bonds between do not.
October 25, 2000