What do people without an ancient tree
Outside their window dream of?
My own nights are guided
My thoughts rooted through and
The soil exposed, so that I toss
And turn, wake up blearily
In the hold of a narrative
Repeated like a list of wrongs
I’ve endured, ensorcelled
By a frightened being
Insistent upon protecting
Me from the evils lurking
Without, building a solid
Cage to help me survive.
My tree sends me downloads
That open in the night, snaking
Through the fractures of my
Constructed reality, illustrating
The sheer lunacy
Live on stage
This sullen detailing
Snuffing out any probability,
Any compassion for the other
Who struck out in her own fear.
And this rewritten history
To ensure that anyone listening
Will feel oh, so sorry
For….who? Fully awakened at five,
Lucidity-impelled to let this go.
No matter how far along the path
Of self-healing, I drag
These patterns of sheer
Survival. In the day, easily dismissed,
A sugary smile and a cookie,
An offer for an outing,
until in the darkness,
The little voice insistent
As the tired adult slumbers.
I leave my bed, read an email
— A comedy show poking fun
At the cultural dissonance
Between the lies absorbed at childhood
That keep piling down
Blizzards of misinformation
Covering up the stark truth.
The murmuration of starlings
Yesterday bursting from the bare
Branches of this Poplar.
I cling to the tale of the clear-
Seeing child declaring the naked
Truth, waking me
until I hawk and harrumph
Through this throat-closing mucus
Separation is a lie.
Our walls are built
To keep us busy as
The few enrich themselves
Destroying and selling the remains
of the age-old beings
Who reach us in our sleep.
Billions of years of intelligence
Coursing through us, invisible,
Unutterable, the harmonic sounds
In registers we ignore.
The evil trance-talk keeping us
Apart, dozing instead of embracing
Trees, bees, birds and coyotes —
And oh, goddess, where are the elephants?
Their stomping rampage an echo
The smallest children hear, surprised.
We re-member our connection
Recognizing the sentience
Right outside these doors
That we coveted for so long
The ones that now resemble
Sterile jails, like the cars we huddle
In, driving past our hopeless
Childish scrawls for help,
Reacting angrily to a clear-cutting
That we forget as soon as we pass,
Led to exclude
The very best parts of ourselves
That growl and pounce and scream
And squirm, anguished,
We reach to reclaim.
And Lee Camp’s new comedy special. Check it out here.