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Eric Diamond

Apologia to a Vine

My wife tells me that vines are stealing Life from the trees
    in our backyard, and should come down.
I peruse the spiraling shoots and sproutings reaching toward
    dappled sunlight.
“Oh green and tender vines -- today you must come down”.
Why are you always ascending toward Heaven?
   ;Are you mystical Jewish vines, studying the Kabbalah, huddled over
musty texts at the base of your oak tree, on fire with yearning for the One?
    Or, are you evangelical vines, eager to leave the ferns, camellias, and bamboo behind, as you seek the ecstasy of Rapture, waiting for you
above the soaring crown of your maple tree?
Maybe you are wild Islamic vines, ready to sacrifice the tree, and
even yourselves, to reach Allah and the seventy-two virgins?

No. Vines, these theophanous theories cannot predict your poking
   and percolating peregrinations up the ectoderm of a pine tree --
Your fate is not determined by the roiling rhetoric of religion,
But rather by the prosaic and punishing hand of simple human prejudice:
   we just like the trees more than we like you.

And so, die you must. But in what magnificent weather!
Today is a good day to die!
I pick you off, strand by doleful strand, filling my hands
with the pieces of your dying dreams.
But, what does it matter? As soon as I turn my back, your cousins will
begin holding clandestine meetings in the underbrush, scouting out new
routes, and preparing tomorrow’s ascent.

Vines, I sympathize with you.
For I, too, am circling the ancient tower,
winding a long and lonesome road, and trying to get to Heaven,
through dark tunnels , longing to bridge
the earth and the sky.

©2006 by Eric Diamond

Eric Diamond is a new poet, psychologist, and men's work leader, living in Gainesville Florida. Major influences are Robert Bly, Tony Hoagland, Bob Dylan, Persian poetry, myth, and archetype. His poems have appeared in Poetry Harbor, New Warrior Journal, and Slow Trains.

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