I missed posting on Earth Day, which is such a great and wonderful day, the world should do so much more to celebrate the wonderful planet we have been given. I wrote this poem years ago after a day of volunteering to plant trees around the city. I hope you like it and Happy Earth Day!
To plan an Elm tree, you dig
a four inch by two foot hole.
in the business world of the earth. You shovel
through zeitgeist, root, and weather. Eavesdrop
on spells miscalculated. Sometime choke
the happy roots of roses or lilies.
To plant an Elm, there must be
a nightmare, a cinematic type cemetary
too beautiful, to cautious
not to be haunted.
To plant an Elm, you must tickle the roots
to separate roots
from the dirt that has protected them.
I feel vulnerable doing this.
They tell me in order the Elm to survive,
I must dig a deep enough hole.
Measurement need be precise,
when survival is involved.
There is a story of a woman in this neighborhood
who shot herself, in the very tire tracks
her husband made
when he drove his Pontiac through her heart.
She should have dug deeper.
To plant an Elm, you must know roots.
Roots too far into the ground,
have too much room to spread,
to feel, to hate.
They feed Elms tree chalk or ‘tree treats,’
like dogs that have just proudly
shaken a human hand.
We make everything feel like it wants to be human
I tell my Elm ‘Don’t listen.’
As I plant my Elm,
in the air,
the smell of Zinc,
the smell of life decayed.
The scent of everything finding out
how wonderful it is to be part this
of everything and nothing.
Dig deeper.. deeper.. Careful
not to measure wrong.
This Elm will love and give in ways I never could