The Poem Tree
I am the poem tree. Scientists say I belong to an endangered
species, but nobody seems to care, despite the recent appeals
launched to save the Red Panda and the African Elephant.
Some say it's a question of public interest, but I say it's a question of memory. From time to time, the memory of men reaches saturation point, when they offload the heavy weight of the past and make room to prepare for the beloved new.
These days, old species aren't fashionable. They have invented trees that grow quickly and make do with only water and sunshine, and who go about being trees both quietly and soullessly.
I am the poem tree. They have tried to manipulate me, but their efforts came to naught; I'm intractable, the master of my own mutations. Seasonal and epochal changes don't bother me. The fruits I bear are never the same. Sometimes I fill them with nectar, and other times with bile; and when I spy a predator from afar, I riddle him with thorns.
Occasionally I ask myself: am I really a tree? Then I become afraid of walking, of speaking the sad language of this dishonest species. I grab hold of an axe and cut down my weakest neighbour’s trunk. So I cling to my roots with all my strength. Inside their endless veins, I follow the stream of words right up to the primordial cry and break through the labyrinth of languages. I grasp the skein end and pull on it to free light and music. An image reveals itself to me. I produce buds that please me and look forward to the flowers. All this occurs under cover of night, with the help of the stars and rare birds that have chosen freedom.
I am the poem tree. I chuckle at all things ephemeral and eternal.
I am alive.