SYLVAN SONGS OF SEVEN TREES: 4 SONNETS
Where does spirit live? Inside or outside/ Things remembered, made things, things unmade?/ What came first, the seabird’s cry or the soul?---Seamous Heaney, “A Small Fantasia for W.B.”.
This time, the graffitied trees.---Graffiti Poems
Why weep over tired things?
What will happen will not.
What will not, will not. Slings?
Arrows to the heart will hurt,
Love cannot, it will not rot.
Like ripening berry, it’s fruit
On the vine and will not carry
That scent beyond this hill,
Or echo a plea for him to marry
Dread and hope and find it still
Inside your now ruptured heart.
Don’t bother waiting on the sill.
He will fly back. Will he depart?
Maybe, like the whippoorwill.
2. Coming Back
Take my heart, cup it there,
Keep it while it still beats here.
Take my soul, hold it here,
Inside or out, I shall not care.
He sings them now, out of need
But are you there to take heed?
Be gentle with me, you once said,
You have forgiven him, you did.
And yet, and yet, the cut is deep
Like a bedfellow won’t let sleep
Cuddle you. Hush, pitiful (bleep)!
Leave. You weren’t mine to keep.
He walks out into the dead night,
Sits on a bench, and dies. Outright.
3. A Choir of Trees
Sing we now of star-crossed lovers
Who found our barks and covers
A papyrus of desires and a sad tale
They dare not tell, till all are stale
Spittle on the throat, all unspoken.
Shells of hurt that remain unbroken.
O, let the late spring breeze retell
Our stories, blow it abroad as well,
No need to keep this prickly burden:
A lover afraid of a child, nay children
Of wanton nights on tree-laden hills
Where an embrace or all that spills
Are tears of morning-afters to hedge,
Or simply water pooled under a bridge.
Sing, sing, tra-la, tra-la. Sing sisters
Of the hill, of that tale of young lovers.
Sing, too, of the dread and the courage
Of things made then unmade. O rage
For all that is beautiful only for a while,
For all that is happy only for a while.
Wherever the wind blows, some stars
Must explode or burst like ugly scars.
Can nights be kinder to one who loves,
And loses? Can days mend like cloves
Cuts that have run deep from arrows
And slings of fortune or dark sorrows?
Sing we now of all the tall shadows
That have left us like treeless meadows?
---Albert B. Casuga
Photo by Jhoanna Cruz and Ricky de Ungria
*Song—short poem meant to be sung.