Monday, January 15, 2007

legend of the white tree

There once grew a tree
deep in the frozen south of the world,
blanched from root to tip,
like a symbol blazoned on a shield,
like a magic figure
at the heart of a story.

Every year a white phoenix
would alight on the lowest branch
and recite all the legends she had gathered
on her travels through distant lands
before dissolving in a cloud of fire
and crumbling to ash at the base of the trunk.

The moon inscribed the stories
on leaves with her silvery wand
and they glimmered there until the leaves
merged with the ashes of the phoenix
and the stories were absorbed
into the heartwood of the tree.

When the winds roared their raucous way north
they carried the stories and sighed them
into ears of children as they slept
giving them dreams of white wings
curved against the arc of the sky,
of branches, ashen crazing against blue,
and of ashes, resting on midnight soil.

In this way all of the stories ever told
became embedded inside any new tales
on scrolls of birch bark rolled from the white tree
over land and sea, a certain similarity,
familiarity, from country to country,
and at the heart of them all,
the mythology of trees.


Blogger Chris Never said...

You really must submit this for publication somewhere Moon, seriously, its beautifully written.

3:11 PM  
Blogger burning moon said...

thanks Chris. I have no idea who might be interested in such a poem though really.

I write them mostly for my own pleasure.

9:58 AM  

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