Kinship with Saplings


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Kinship with Saplings

Yūgen is said to mean “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering”.

Yūgen suggests that beyond what can be said but is not an allusion to another world. It is about this world, this experience. -source, Word of the Day: Yūgen (幽玄) from Just Think of It by David R. Woolley.

The seed yielded to gravity,
falling to rest upon the good earth,
breaking its protective shell,
becoming primordial seedling,

stretching tendrils into the soft soil,
rooting as probe and anchor;
shooting upward in trunk, branching,

dividing, multiplying,
uncoiling in fractals
incomprehensible to what birthed it,

unfurling green leaves to capture the sun,
collaborating with wind
to compose meditative melodies
reminding all within earshot to breathe,

relinquishing oxygen
as a liberating reminder that
speaking to define this phenomenon

is unnecessary

nor does it necessarily
improve upon the silent
newborn rustle.

I’ve never been content
or comfortable in our world,
never knowing my place
within it.

And so,
just as with writing my thoughts,
I’ve never had my voice ring forth
with a declarative

“Aha! I am now a poet!”

or “It’s all clear to me now!
I am an author of fiction!”

or “People laugh at my jokes,
therefore I am a humorist!”

When closing upon
defining my place in the universe,
it slips from my grasp;
I remain unmoored.

My voice crystallizes
lost among the icy mist,
dispersing as yūgen, and perhaps
that is as it should be.

For, though I have no idea
who I will become tomorrow,
today, I am a tree.

Originally published on Medium as Kinship with Saplings.

Special thanks for my good friend Tre for providing the seed to this poem.

8 thoughts on “Kinship with Saplings

  1. This is one of those poems that always reveals something new. This is solid writing, Barry.

    “relinquishing oxygen
    as a liberating reminder that
    speaking to define this phenomenon
    is unnecessary
    nor does it necessarily
    improve upon the silent
    newborn rustle.”

    Solid, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adressing Pt 1

    Some stunning images have created a magical mood…..’newborn rustle’ is particularly nice.

    If one needed affirmation by ” the people that count” to validate their worth and talent…people like me would think of themselves as zero…and sadly that is the intention.

    Your opinion of yourself is the one that counts and of course the more intelligent you are brings higher expectations. Today and tomorrow you are not a tree. You are a poet who will continue to find those words, that turn of phrase to present that inexplicable magic feeling on to a page.

    Aha yes I’m a poet …and yes you are a poet too
    said the older butterfly to the younger one:)

    Adressing Pt 2

    How could any sensitive talented insightful human with a modicum of spiritual dimension be comfortable let alone find a place in this world. It is like a butterfly wanting to find a place with and wanting to be accepted by a possee of komodo dragons. For survival reasons one may have to don the dragon suit…just make sure it is not for 24 hrs in the day and keep hatching clever plots to escape:)

    Liked by 1 person

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