trees

LEYLAND CYPRESS ELEGY

 

Leyland Cypress

Name suggesting

Ley lines on the land

Lovingly planted

When the century was new

Barely as tall as my knee

To someday be

A screening tree

Southern climate

Encourages it

To grow, grow, grow

Shielding me from nasty neighbors

Hiding ugly PVC pipes

Reaching through sand

To provide water from a well

Extending to hell, for all we know

Because Florida aquifers

Are right below the surface

Deep wells don’t really exist

For those of us living a few miles

From the Gulf

Yet on my dirt road

Where city water will not condescend to travel

A ten-foot water well

Is used for drinking and showers

Now my beautiful tree

Is cankered

I’ve pruned

Sprayed Lysol and alcohol

But the prognosis is bleak

Mourning sets in

As the air-borne disease

Already seeks the new tree

I will not be here

If the baby escapes illness and death

If it grew while the century flew

To its mid-time

But still

A tree should be

Part of Mother Earth’s crown

But like many of her jewels

It will disappear forever…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

HAMMOCK MYSTERIES

(originally posted 2-25-16)

Two-day old crescent above the

Withlacoochee River hammocks

Not much illumination

Especially for seekers of

Cryptic or everyday

Mysteries

People mysteries

Involving love and life and death

But the hammocks have their own problems

As the sea level rises in this

World of climate change

Trees drown

Fish and wildlife dwindle

So maybe they all seek

Answers in their

Bowers of earth

Castles of overheated water

Crisping nests of dead leaves

No time for love when struggling

To find food and stay alive

We are kin to other species

Suffering alike

On this changing planet

Awaiting illumination

That is in a cycle of deep sleep

How to wake it up…?

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Withlacoochee River Hammock

 

FOREVER PALM

 

Palm tree in the fog

Swamp sentinel beyond my fence

A tree since ancient times

Starring in its own mythology

Symbol in the birth of religions

Formerly centered in deserts

Oasis accoutrement

Palms gaining superstitious status

In different parts of the world

Spreading from countries and across the sea

Dried palm for long life

Retaining its leaves

Even after death

A reminder that the past

Is always a part of us

Place a cross of its leaves

On a table during

Raging storms

And lightning will be averted

In Thailand, two palms

Whose names mean

Forsaken and Affliction

Are never grown in a house compound

Sympathetic magic must be avoided

I look at my

Palm tree in the fog

And suddenly feel sure

It is not a swamp sentinel

Forbidding me to enter

But the complete opposite

Guarding me from the

Dangers of the swamp

Allowing frogs and tortoises

Cranes and tiny birds

To grace my yard

But never gators

Or snakes

To cross that line

Into my life

Yes, I do believe

The beautiful and forever palm

Is my gatekeeper…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

 

 

HAMMOCK MYSTERIES

 

Two-day old crescent above the

Withlacoochee River hammocks

Not much illumination

Especially for seekers of

Cryptic, everyday

Mysteries

People mysteries

Involving love and life and death

But the hammocks have their own problems

As the sea level rises in this

World of climate change

Trees drown

Fish and wildlife dwindle

So maybe they all seek

Answers in their

Bowers of earth

Castles of overheated water

Crisping nests of dead leaves

No time for love when struggling

To find food and stay alive

We are kin to other species

Suffering alike

On this changing planet

Awaiting illumination

That is in a cycle of deep sleep

How to wake it up…?

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Withlacoochee River Hammock