Oak

Let me reach inside that word,

smell the powdering rot at your ancient heart,

feel the sinewy grasp of your living bark,

roots grappling the ground, your twisted grace.

The counsel you offer is far from human,

your heart beats slow, your skin reflects the turbulence

of ancient fields of force, the energy

of this creative universe.

Now all your former spread has shrunk

into this mighty stunted trunk, which leans,

is full of shadows.  You’re slow to leaf,

But the crumpled green gold still uncurls against your rough skin.

Let me reach inside your name, let the word

reverberate, strong as rock, the sound of standing long,

of roots that reach deep, so your name speaks

the sound of when the wind wrenches,

but knowledge much deeper than the moment

keeps you steady, although the road runs close,

its tawdry restlessness shown up by your presence;

our temporary chatter hardly ruffles

your millennial meditation;

You have never forgotten what you are.

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