Cracks in the Wood

4.30 Cracks in the Wood Photo

Cracks in the Wood
By Julie Flanders

The tree of life
Reaches toward itself
Without reaching back

You are full of imagining
You are full of self-attack
And as you stare up
At the bare bough
Where the branches fork
Into an ancient plough
Of stars
You see Adam’s scars
Initialed in the bark

A million years since
And we are still in
Our own dark infancy
Always knows when to start
Acorn first, then root
Then green fragile part

What will be a tree
Begins as a shoot
Tender enough to fall back
To itself
In the print of man’s boot
And yet the sun warms
The urgency of life
Which cuts a path for itself
Toward the sky

The riots are a reflection
Of us, you and I
The way we mean to
Say the same thing
But the way we say it
Bangs clouds together
Into some terrible other
Ring of noise
A greedy reach
For love
Is what destroys itself
In self-attack

We can’t reach back

We all want to
Be included
We all want to matter
To have our words be heard
To have our voices
Shatter the silence
Or command it

Is the remanded and redacted version
Of our better selves
Black lines
Through strict contracts
Controlling us
From bureaucrat’s shelves
Words cut their critical shape
Or stain lives
By way of paper
Slices from that one-time tree of life
Now mortal
Now feeling time’s knife
As do we all

But the tree stands
As leaves, fruit and acorns

I asked you once
To take your share
To eat
From the apple of the tree of despair
And you turned to me
To kiss my mouth
As all the eyes of the world turned
Away from us

Was it betrayal
Or was it trust
What is the secret nature
Inside of us
Where we meet
Where the scent of poison is disguised
As sweet
And we are too young to know
The threat of all we’ll remember
And all we’ll regret
As the days turn colder
But it’s not winter

Maybe we’ll be safe
In this bubble of light and champagne
So far from trouble
We feel no pain
Until we wake
Into our ignorance
Into who we remain

And the tree has been falling
Limb by limb

We’ve forgotten the words
We’ve forgotten the hymn
That kept us alive
From the starlight
We’ve forgotten ourselves
In the taste of despair
We’ve come to our knees in a spasm
Of prayer

As long as you’re with me
As long as you’re there
I know I’m forgiven
I know that you care
And nothing will keep me
From saying your name to the emptiness
Where our memories remain

Behind us
Where we reach for our past
As it finally finds us brilliantly
Fading from starlight
To black
The power of memories
To gather us back
Beyond self-attack

We reach toward each other
And we find peace
At last


About octoberprojectmusic

Julie Flanders Marina Belica Emil Adler
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