Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ah, Whitman!
The leaves of grass may be dead,
yellow and brown,
covered with a littering
of sharp pine needles,
but the ground is warm
and smells fresh and new.

I chose to sit in the shade
on this side of the tree
that slopes upward
toward the concrete school.
I want to face downward,
downhill, but I want to feel
the strong, rough bark of this tree
hold me in the breeze.
I feel safer here,
so I try to avoid glancing
at the school.

In order for you to understand,
I must look, but understand
I am doing this for you.

It's depressing, really, to see
the sun warm its cold, white walls.
The sun does not differentiate
between concrete and grass
(although it should).
It shines, warms every body,
tree, building, and child's head.

The juxtaposition of grass to concrete,
city to nature, warmth to cold,
is understood by us all.
Thoreau is not the only one
to notice the banks of Walden Pond.
Nor Whitman,
as he sat and cradled the leaves of grass
capturing their infinity
for us to understand.
The difference:
Thoreau, Whitman (and now myself, I suppose),
continue to notice and
continue to write.
But they are dead, you say,
They cannot write!
Ah! But they do, for
they write through me and in me,
and by me.
Thoreau: in every drop of water;
Whitman: in every leaf of grass.
They are still here,
and so am I.

I'm glad I chose this side of the hill.
I'm glad I chose this pen,
and this day and
this sun.

1 comment:

PoeticMermaid said...

This was beautiful. I'm glad they are speaking to you, and you are speaking to and writing for us (as well as yourself).

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