Gum-trees StrippingSay the need's born within the tree,
And waits a trigger set for light;
say sap is tidal like the sea,
and rises with the solstice-heat -
but wisdom shells the words away
to watch this fountain slowed in air
where sun joins earth - to watch the place
at which these silent rituals are.
Words are not meanings for a tree.
So it is truer not to say,
'These rags look like humility,
or this year's wreck of last year's love,
or wounds ripped by the summer's claw.'
If it is possible to be wise
here, wisdom lies outside the word
in the earlier answer of the eyes.
Wisdom can see the red, the rose,
The stained and sculptured curve of grey,
the charcoal scars of fire, and see
around that living tower of tree
the hermit tatters of old bark
split down and strip to end the season;
and can be quiet and not look
for reason past the edge of reason.