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if you stop thrashing
for long enough,
i swear you can hear the ocean say

i’m trying to make you a swimmer

so that you have a reason
to come back

...
i often think life
is trying to **** me,
when in fact it’s just
making me strong enough
to stick around for
a really ******* long time

what doesn’t drown you
makes you a swimmer
at the end of the day—
it doesn’t matter
how meticulously folded
the envelope is

all i can see
are the big red letters
stamped across the top

RETURN TO SENDER
...
i appreciate
the gentleness with which
you continue to
return my heart
every single day

but gentle doesn’t mean
painless
You never know whose day you'll make,
You never know whose lips you'll curve into a smile,
You never know whose heart you're holding together.
Write on writer!
Where life exists
You often find a carpet
Of grass or moss or whatever.
And in sacred groves and forests
You will find
The tree.

The tree: nature’s skyscraper,
Deep roots, hard bark and leafy canopy:
Linking the Underworld to The Heavens.
Looming beauty my words can but strive
To describe.

A tree can live for many an age,
Legends about it, even longer.
Since ancient times the tree has been revered.
The Norse People had Yggdrasil:
A cosmic tree linking many worlds.
Comprehend the Eastern Indian Kalpavriksha –
A jewel of a wish fulfilling tree.
The Peace Tree of the American Iroquois,
And many more.

In West Africa the Oubangui People plant a tree
Whenever a child is born.
The Bible tells of the Tree of Life
And the Tree of Knowledge
Growing there
In The Garden of Eden.

Bow to the Tree Goddess.
Bow to The Tree
Bow to its sturdy bough.

Our tree is home
To many a creature
Nymphs and Dryads too
Maybe.

A skyscraper indeed,
Full of life
Safe in its shade
Some behind walls
Of solid wood.

We lose ourselves
Just looking
At that tangle
Of twisting branches
Spiny twigs and clouds of leaves.
Will it stoop over
And pick us up
With its enormous
Hands?

Or will it just keep playing us
A lullaby
With that whistling wind?  

Oh Tree,
You show such grandeur,
Goddess-like indeed:
Shaken by gales
Yet not disturbed
We trust.

Long Live The Tree –
Even giving us
The air we breathe.
Let your branches spread
While you reach ever upward –
A towering spire.

Paul Butters

© PB 26\5\2020. With due credit to Wikipedia.
I love trees.
There is a girl
half a world away
I would have been hers
she might have been mine
who can say
maybe in a different time
a different place
but that’s not the way
love operates
sometimes the knife cuts deep
and can bleed you dry
bringing you to your knees.

But a man can dream
as I so often do
about the designs you had
on your blouse
like roads that could lead me
anywhere, and your hair
too dark for a soul to brush
away that one strand that
made me think of an island
not on any map, and the down
on your belly like dust on
a blue guitar I strummed by
the porthole of your navel
and fingernails like pirates coming
aboard flogging the back of a Captain
who dared sail into your port.
Aye, aye.
The music plays
Another chance
The hall is set
For the final dance
My heart quivers
For what is to come
It's longed and feared this final song
Sweeping beautifully I weep
Shadows lightening my step
The melody strings as lights go dim
The final dance
Of fires and grace
Let my fears slip away
As I forget my place
To the rhythms of my soul
The last dance is playing my song.
Why plant
A fragile heart
In the wrong place
Setting it up
To suffocate
Like a tulip
In a xeriscape
BLT word of the day “xeriscape”
I am a Castle
my mind is my Keep
a stony facade
built from life's stones
of adversity, grief
a mental drawbridge
pulled up around
the inner fortress of my soul
When threatened I draw back my bow
take aim and fire
words are my arrows
each invisibly engraved
"Private - Keep Out!"
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