secret life of eucalyptus

the front-yard eucalypt is tall and mature
it is evergreen mustard-shaded taper-leaves
red blossom and gumnuts

the tree sheds bark and other old growth throughout the year
and when the wind blows from the north
as it is today
the ground carries as many as enough
of fallen twigs and dry branches

this tree embodies support for a notion I have heard expressed
about a secret life of plants
about their capacity to experience pain
the possibility of them possessing feelings
in fact
I have now been startled into wondering if there is not
an entire societal structure not yet explored
for a glance upwards
towards the source of so much casually discarded refuse
reveals a dry branch twisting in the wind
clinging with the tip of a tortured tendril
to an extrusion out-thrust from a branch further above
it is a plaintive scene full of pathos and desperation
beyond the grasp of my reach

I am left to watch and to wonder
did it fall
or jump

was it perhaps

© Frank Prem, 2002


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