A Tree Grows in Sagittarius
Straight Shot ~ Philip Brent Harris
Listen now, with me, to the music
Which flows through me, moves me
Like wind through trees, moving leaves
Which shows me my way home.
Let us watch, strolling together, down the lane,
Dark windows spring to light as we pass,
Like the magic of lightning bugs
on a gentle summer evening.
We lie back on the new-mown grass,
Aware of vague words in our parents voices
Night cools and the lightning bugs give way
To the sparkling meadows of the stars,
Spread like a field of white Asters
Where we fall asleep, to dream
Of space, time, distance and existence,
To see both the future and the past.
Now, we watch the growing grass
From the wicker rocking chairs and porch swings,
Pushing off and tucking our feet under,
Rocking forth and back, forth am back,
Hoping to feel the spinning motion
Of our vast, blue, rotating globe,
Of fecund mud, sea and sky
In all its tarnished, faded glory.
The parents now, we wonder how the parents
Before us consumed our world, no thought or care.
Our vision and our imagination
Blinkered and blinded
To the new lands and distant vistas,
The far horizons our forebears knew.
Our attention now fixed,
No more distant than our own hand.
In a strange, magic, lighted box,
We are sure we can see forever,
Find anything that’s worth knowing.
It’s our new intercourse
Flowing through us,
Over us and all around us.
Less successful than a random sperm
In engendering viable life;
We must pretend connection
To strangers we have never met.
Yet, sometimes, we find they feel more true
Than friends we have known a lifetime
and beyond. We forget, those closest to us
Grow and change, not always
At the same speed or in the same direction,
So, we may come to find ourselves
Miles behind or on a different path,
When we thought we walked together.
I ponder the changes that have taken me.
Some have snuck in from outside,
Like a burglar in the darkness night.
I suspect most have always lurked within
and are, for the first time
Being exposed to light, life and breath.
Sadly, I feel some appeared
Much too late in the afternoon; they wither
Like the fat bees we captured
In old pickle jars with holes
Punched through the lid for air.
Even then we knew these fragile lives,
Butting the glass, needed air to breath,
Sun and freedom to survive.
Yet, we, mercurial, as all children,
Left the them in jars to die.
We were not callous, not most,
Rueful, mourning them
On our, too late, return home,
Stinging from the shame of parental rebuke
And sudden intimacy with death and the void.
Have I now found the time, capacity
To feel the full pain and price
Of my youthful disregard,
The need of brain, body and spirit
To explore the new, to express my self
Within ever more constricted limitations?
Now the elders, who were taught a failed paradigm,
Designed to kill the imagination needed to change.
Whatever wisdom I’ve acquired, What
I wanted and went after, sometimes with zeal,
At others, mere words and braggadocio.
Each and all have been
Guided by, goaded by the dictates of life
All the landscapes of maturity, my insecurities.
Jobs, relationships, home and children,
Molded from the mold used for me.
Yes, I tried, however unintentionally,
To escape the person history dictated
I was destined to become; straining
Until, in places the mold deformed, broke,
Cracked, creating new shapes, lines,
The scars and crazing on me, of me.
My outer shell disguised and constricted
The inner person, the only that is me.
Further, I locked myself within a box, seething,
Silently, offering no competition to my father,
Who I came to realize, needed to win.
The youngest son in a large family.
Perhaps the best and brightest,
Unable to be bested by me
As far as I have come, will I know the truth,
The answer to all, when my atoms
Have been scattered like seeds upon
The starry sward of creation, seeking nurture,
So that I may take root and grow
Into a new tree in some unknown land?
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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