Tree Of Life

Between the devil and the deep blue sea—

a tree, its branches whorled

to snag the spinner sun mid-flight

and glean from day’s glazed bowl of light

a skein of sugars for its sap.

Each leaf a photon factory

diverts some star-stuff on the run,

transmutes from lowly clod of dirt

a mesh of root and shoot and crown.


I’ll ask of sun an equal boon:

to make of most unlikely me

if not a tree, a greening branch,

an arm up-reaching into space

to pluck some sparking solar hairs

and weave a bed—but not to sleep—

to bound off like a trampoline

into those stellar arms of flame

that light the candle of my dust.

—Richard Schiffman

Published in the 2012-10-26 issue: 

Richard Schiffman writes poetry.

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