Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Poems and Proverbs

A friend of mine wrote a poem for me based
on my favorite African proverb.
I think it is beautiful and I wanted to share.  

In African rain, on barren plain, a single seed was sown,
A score ago, this plateau bestowed, a tree growing alone.
Strong and tall, from summer to fall, leaves of noble green
Change to golds as weather colds, as if to crown a Queen.
As years pass, this oaken lass, outlasts drought and storm -
An endless exchange of season's change into another form.

But then one day, a seed fell astray, and buried in the earth
Out of the norm, with resilient form, a second tree was birth
In the cascade, of the older tree's shade, advantageously,
Side by side, the sapling hides, and will raise up cautiously.
These two trees, hardened by breeze and by bending wind
Will forever last, as time shall pass, lest their roots rescind.

Standing there, this branching pair, they overlook all of life
Able to see, the scrutiny, of the world's strides and strife
With thickened skin, and resolve within, growing up and old
The bigger tree, told her baby, as other's soul's were sold:
"In life you'll find, the very best time, to plant a tree, I vow
Was years ago, but please know, the second best is now."

Now that I've heard, the spoken word, of that taller tree,
I'm finally aware, that growing there, are my mom and me.

Alex Ottenstein

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