By The Side Of The Rotten Trunk

A reconciliation between
inner and outer storms comes
during a walk in early spring,

first warm day in a winter while,
pushing too warm for
these clothes; princess pine

beginning to push past
the winter leaves toward
long missed late day sun.

Stopped on the path by the sight
of a wide spray of fallen oak leaves splayed
upon the softly crumbled trunk

of a tree — not their source, one that itself fell years
before, its surface riddled now with ant-roads,
its flesh chewed and weathered nearly into sand.

The light upon the leaves bleaches them
to a pale brown. No doubt brittle to the touch
from death, but from here they look like

a snap shot of banners or kerchiefs
flying in a brisk wind — image from
a pageant, renaissance fantasy; then

I shake myself free, let nature be free
of my interpretation — layers here of past
becoming slowly, unstoppably new;

one more step and into view comes
more princess pine, green rising
by the side of and fed by the rotten trunk.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “By The Side Of The Rotten Trunk

  • Eileen

    Lovely. You capture the new life from the decay beautifully. In working with dreams with a Jungian spiritual director, I saw that most frequently all the characters in our dreams are aspects of our own personality. And sometimes we have inner wars, where our fear of our own vulnerability brings out violence against that part of us, from feeling that we desperately need to bring it under our control to protect ourselves. I lived with a constant feeling of vulnerability until my sixties. But if I got angry enough, I wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Recognizing my latent violence, was a bummer, but accepting it as a strength if needed, gave me more control of both my fear and the anger I might need to protect myself. (Not perfectly, but enough to not stay in constant inner conflict. This was a much stronger response than a tendency to use sarcasm to “cut people down to my size.” Perhaps there’s a male/female difference in what we need to embrace….not sure if that’s it, or more a matter of timing in our personal journeys because of our different natural personality traits.

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