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Saturday, 17 December 2011

the mountain and the tree

There is a tree I know, a favourite tree, beneath which tree I love
to lie, and focus on a mountain far away.
And as I look I hear the tree creak like my garden gate
and I imagine I have walked the so-familiar path
and now am opening the gate and passing through,
and wonder: where will I end up? where now, my destination?
and: does it only creak, this tree of mine, when I am here?
and: could it be my thoughts that make it creak?
and: what part does the mountain play in this?

You will agree that these are hefty thoughts...
and I must tell you that I think the whole of life
is punctuated using transcendental ands. Like bells, they toll
to draw attention to life's solemn and most Eucharistic parts,
parts not to miss if we would fully grow into ourselves.
The ands make life continuous, joined-up and pliable.

But now the mountain beckons me, and as it beckons, so the tree
creaks loudly once again. I hear the hinges speaking to each other
and to me. The tree no longer feigns to be a gate, but has become
a portal for perception to pass through - it swings, in fact,
to let the whole of me that is the true me through.
The tree's my tree of life, of knowledge, good and evil as they were
before we mixed them both together in our special human brew.
The mountain is life's ands and source of ands -
the source of all those Eucharistic bells.

Once, when I was sick and feverish, I flew
above, beyond the mountain, wondering what I'd find.
(Before the days of Google Earth, this was - though in this context,
what would that be worth? No option, but to go myself.
No other agent could have prophesied - none even tried.)
I saw a wonderland of white, a landscape in its wedding dress -
dressed not by nature, not by falls of snow, but at its quiet centre, by
The Riddlesdown Cement Works in full flow
the chalk dust from its quarry spreading out across the hills.

(I've often noticed this in life, that at the very centre of a waking dream:
the workshop that's creating it.)

I've tried a few times drawing them, the mountain and the tree;
it's never really worked a treat, the tree still looks a tree
and the mountain keeps its daily guise and is a mountain still.
Neither ever looks the thing essentially it is.

17 comments:

Rohit said...

beautiful imagination and comparisons...the perspectives of life!

kaykuala said...

Dave,
A dream can well reveal what the stars foretell. The creaking of the gates is in tandem with what life has in store for us. If only we can interpret more accurately the sounds of goodness which may just evaporate if not taken advantage of! Excellent verse!

Hank

Mary said...

Hi Dave! You are right about the 'ands' in life. There is always another. There is only one FINAL period.

And, on another note, I think it is pretty hard to draw what imagination sees. Once it is on paper, it is no longer imagined.

Rachel Fox said...

I've been working on a writing project that involves a lot of trees too!
Long time no see/visit by the way. Hoping you're well.
x

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,such a lovely poem,keep up your good work.

Tabor said...

Dreams and visions are like that. They do not let us put them in concrete. Nicely done. I was with you high in the tree.

Brian Miller said...

nice...love this dave...being a man of the mountains myself...they call me often...and i like life under a tree as well...and dreams...and dreams...

haricot said...

Mountains and some trees are witness of the world from ancient times.
I'm poor at climbing but I love to see and talk with mountains and tall trees.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Whimsical and thought provoking. Your poetry is a true art!

Cait O'Connor said...

I am over fond of the word 'and' and use it far too often. I don't feel so guilty now and I love it at the start of a sentence. Lovely poem, another deep, comforting one to ponder upon.

jabblog said...

As Cait says, a comforting poem.

Ygraine said...

I so relate to your thought patterns here.
The comparisons,
the perspectives, so deeply evocative of truths we can't quite grasp, but see so clearly.
Another masterpiece, Dave:)

Tommaso said...

Great: this poem goes to the core and mystery of what is a symbol.

Windsmoke. said...

Dreams, visions, mystery and perspectives all rolled into one poem, well done :-).

Mama Zen said...

This is excellent!

Dave King said...

Rohit
Hi, really good to have your company. Thank you so much for the comment.

kaykuala
You could just be right in all you say - and many thanks for the kind final comment.

Mary
You are so right - on both counts. Thanks for the observations.

Rachel
Indeed, it has been a long time no see - but a very appropriate time of year to renew old friendships. Good to have you visiting. All blessings to you.

sunny
Much thanks for this sunny. Shall certainly try!

Tabor
Good to know you were there. Thanks so much for all your support.

Brian
We seem very much in synch'. Trees, forests, mountains and the sea do it for me. Thanks for your thoughts.

haricot
A person after my own heart! Good to know there are others around.

Elizabeth
Hi! A warmwelcome to my blog. Thank you so much for coming and leaving your thoughts.

Cait
I, too over-use the word "and", mostly I think as a devise to keep the rhythm flowing - poor excuse, but there you go! Thanks Cait.

jabblog
Really pleasing that you thought so. Thanks.

Ygraine
This is most gracious of you and is very much appreciated,. Thank you.

Tommaso
This is one terrific comment to have made. I can't thank you enough for it.

Windsmoke
Yes, dreams do tend to roll all things into one - I guess that's why I like thm so much. Thanks.

Mama Zen
Very generous of you to say so. Thank you.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the perspectives and musings in this one...