This wild forest path happening
So clearly now remains in mind,
Of the many recalled visions
Those many visions front and hind
Before the dark, dense, distant woods -
And towering so over all -
This superannuated pine,
Last survivor an ancient line,
Of some behemoth, sturdy strain,
So obscure in mythic annals
To having survived without name
Its divided trunk wore the slash
Of Eden’s earth-born lightning flash.
The ground surround yellowed and bare
Sunken by undulant root-flare,
Orbiting crown set in blue sky,
From breathless height, black to the eye.
Quite alone the tree and myself
Nor mole, woodchuck, lingering elf.
From fancy’s overwhelming reach
I swear the tree endowed with speech.
I could but stand still, listening
It’s oft told the charm of silence,
The far and near, perfect alliance,
Thoughts gathering to focal point,
A primal realization,
Shiver! Swallow, grasp, hold on tight
Truth comes forth, Celestial light!
Spoke that gargantuan old pine,
“Long before Adam was life mine.
Why? - without question by our kind.
Enough that we were given birth
That HE saw fit to favor Earth.
But, with man, the question arose
Why? – always answered, no one knows
Is Earth the way to Paradise?
We have heard that eternal shout –
‘Tell us, Lord, what it’s all about.
Oh, why all this struggle and strife?’
“And HE said,” ‘it’s all about life.’