trees of the long white cloud : part I

these trees are immigrants
keeping true to their long histories
continuing the customs of their ancestors

sepia, folium
tyrian, madder
minium, cinnabar
carmine, cadmium
saffron, sienna, ochre, weld

these colours are deceiving
unlike flowers, they are not an invitation
rather, they are a sign of loss
and of a turning inward

as the trees begin withdrawing into themselves
conserving energy, preserving life-force
releasing all non-essential elements
leaves lose green and fall

to protect themselves
from winter’s chill
the trees hibernate above ground
they stand naked in the cold
heart kept warm deep in their centre
beating slowly, barely breathing

they stand quietly, patiently
winter – one long meditation
until the sun rings the zen-bell
and branch tips stretch, buds open
and the trees shake themselves awake

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

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