Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Senator Series – Part Five

January 19th, 2012

Whether by Bike or by Car 

Tires would speed your way.
Never was a trip complete without
A visit
A sight
A moment.

Through the dewy, spring hammock
Excitement would build
As friends were dragged to your feet
To see their expression—astonishment,

This place was yours,
And by being here
So were we.
Standing large, hands would cover eyes
To see your face for the sun. To think
Of all your life had endured
Our own ages are nothing compared.

One look at your rough, holey bark
Would fill a heart with wisdom
Of strength in storms,
Fortitude in floods,
Fidelity in draughts,
Beauty in years
That forge into a fortress
That flourishes as a well-tended rose.

Now into softest earth
Your character decays
Into us where fruit born
Will nourish us to long life.
We were satisfied knowing that as much
As we would never know about this land
About the world
You have known.
Knowing you to have been here
So we could hope to be,
A tree of life to live by.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Senator Series – Part Four

January 18th, 2012

 You Remember the Days Long Ago

As your spirit grows faint
The flame around you—within you—delighting.
For you are a great work
Made by great hands
As your branches have ever spread
For him, always shading
His burdened heart in your refuge.
His face has ever been upon you

On this morning you feel the flames of his love;
A consuming fire that has sustained you all along.
By looking up, our vision
And thoughts were lifted higher
Than our normal lives see,
Above the places we never leave to recognize
One larger, taller, greater than ourselves.

You have been a long, faithful servant
Giving a glimpse of the one who will 
Truly never die
Who gives to those life who seek it
Who prepares a place for you
In gardens ever-rich
Where you won't fight to stand strong
Where you will always touch the sky
And feel the sun.

As we were tiring to keep you
You were lifted up
Falling to level ground.
Your way has been but deeper in
And higher up
And a little more girth in between.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Senator Series - Part Three

January 19th, 2012

When the Waters Came Up 

In horror, wind ripping limbs and leaves
She let go of her children
As her trunk was drowned
Above base and branch.

When the waters ran you floated
And found a place,
Be it barren
When you felt the warmth of the sun
You rooted
While unsure
In the soil you found strength
With a sense of what this would become,
Letting out leaves to match
Greens to browns
Height to breadth.

In your time
You shaded others too scared to emerge,
And much later directed those who moved and changed.
Standing tall you kept
Watch over a quiet swamp, feeling everything
To be yours and yourself to be theirs.

When more came
You asked them to sit
Find strength in hard times
Rise above adversity
Be quiet in clamor
Find a place to set anchor until
The energy of life overtakes us in a flash—
In a wave—
And we are gone.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Senator Series - Part Two

January 18th, 2012

I Sit in Silence

Not of contemplation but of disbelief.
Like a fast train on uneven tracks I want
to roll around to grieve for the loss of you.
My life was one of tens
of thousands of generations
that breathed while you breathed.
Why couldn’t it have been one more?

Arriving home, at your feet
I would always humble myself.
To return to find you sitting—
my looking down—
will find me on my knees at your side,
an inequality I never wanted balanced;
A minute below your light-cleansing canopy
An inspiration tuning intuition.

Knowing you were there at the end of the trail
Tucked within palmetto and yellow poplar
I knew I was home,
Home as it has been for a thousand years
Where the noise of a day and a year are smoothed
To a long tranquility revealing that everything turns
Out all right in time, through changes and civilizations.

So others could sit you have stood for all time
Waiting for another to come to pass on
The unbroken line. Through hurricane winds,
Storms of sudden light and blasting noise,
Through greedy hands holding buckets for sap
And saws for woody flesh,
Wars shedding blood at your roots,
Through a hundred fires before, you
Persevered all to send our hearts to leap
At the sight of profound stature. Burning spontaneously
In a glorious blaze of indwelling you became the torch
For your Lady, a call to carry on in wisdom,
Honor and faithfulness.

Years ago, before I knew you
Your kind
Or the kind of anything
I planted a tree.
As I saved it from a potted, draughty death
Freeing his roots to a hole in the ground
And his dreams to the sky
I gave you a successor and prepared my heart
For your grace. The line is yet unbroken.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Senator Series - Part One

January 22nd, 2012

Taking the Long Path

To your woods there was
A moment where I wondered if
You would still be there
Or if you’d have disappeared—
Impossibly uprooted
And left in the night;
A gigantic phantom.
Against understanding
By mystery
You remained.