Posts tagged Tree

Poem: The Sunburn Purchase of 1970


May 19, 2013 * Dominique Larntz

Dedicated to the Rights of Nature Movement


Nature purchased me early.
At 3 months old, the sun
scorched my skin
across the side of a mountain
one afternoon
like it thought I might be
an agent of photosynthesis.

I am owned by nature
and fail to fathom the delusion
that man owns land.

Like a long-running movie
with dramatic courtroom scenes
where everyone’s malnourished,

I’ve stepped out to get some air
and seen the scenes are two dimensional,
and the script’s someone’s trip to make money.

When I was young, the fingers of reality
found me for that mountain moment but now
I am old and nature finds me everywhere.

I refuse conversations about who-owns-what
and I silently grow thyme on my back porch
as the plants call forth their right to flourish.

I hear it like the thrum of my heartbeat,
a song so much fuller than the noise of commerce—
the verdant cadence of reality

trickling through fantasy as the ice melts
around schemes of domination and colonization—
old ragged frozen prehistoric fish rhymes.

Instead the letters of real things start to appear.
Lexicons that interweave breath making and breath taking,
water ways and solar rays, until I can walk up that mountain

at a time near my last breath making friends
with the sun, with technology, with my fellow man,
with the landscape, with the whole of the day.

We don’t own land like
I don’t perform photosynthesis—
which the planet needs to make air—
the air I depend on for every breath of life;
breath I gulp as the plants move me.

Poem: Tree-Hugger


Dominique Larntz * October 31, 2012


I read in a book my mother gave me
that school children in China
learn to plant trees.

The oldest trees are Redwoods
in or near California,
whose smells and crackles
embolden my memories.

I’d like to be buried in those odors.

So far I’ve only learned to plant things
in containers

and I learned it on my own.

I couldn’t go around flinging seeds
just anywhere in this desert,
on this concrete,
in my enthusiasm,
in my greed for growth.

Surely the ground is too bricked,
despite the refrain of moss
and grafting that repeats
in my mind.

What if I had
a reference,
a reverence
from the structures
of my world
so that I had no need
to wait

to meet someone
from China to ask
if they really learned
to plant a tree
when they were young?

Poem: A New Habit


Dominique Larntz * September 2, 2012


A New Habit

I think I did it first:
he asked me if I liked the shelf he finished

And in my mind I said,
are you kidding, it’s fantastic!

In my heart, I sang of the way a shelf
we carve into our lives to set a book upon
was made from a tree that reached as deeply into the dirt
as its branches stretched toward the sun.

He asked me again, a little perturbed this time.

“Do you like the new shelf?”

I shook myself and said aloud, “Yes, yes. I love it.”

I noticed this new habit we have—
assuming we have heard the other respond.

When we were younger and first in love,
we spoke together fast and secretly—so fast
that we would finish the others’ sentence
before listening and laughing in the joy of it.

Now our love life is ecstatic with age
and I can report back in time
that there is nothing more beautiful
than love well lived.

The love well lived requires both sides
to mature, both sides sometimes to be wrong,
a song of sacrifice lived behind the curtain
of deep desires to do something different than
is being done—requires abandoning the place of want
and its unending possibilities—those are ceded
with wonder and awe for the roots and depth
where we have best blossomed instead,
like two bookends slid securely into place
holding up stories on a shelf that will last for a while.

For twenty years, we have said and not said
so many wonderful things to each other; it seems
like sunshine to be around him.

Our relationship sustains this living landscape
and our daily lives are finally slow enough to feel it.

The other day, I asked him a question—
I can’t even remember what it was—
and he didn’t answer,
so I answered yes for him.

When you ask your next question,
only to wait and wait for its answer,
perhaps your spouse or child
or aging parent or God
is so ecstatic with you
they have this sense
you have already heard.

Poem: Bark


Dominique Larntz * March 29, 2012


I felt like tree bark this morning,
peeled off and left rotting on the ground.
I could not connect to anything,
no light, no finish, no sparkle, no replenish.

Walked around moving stuff from one place
to another in my house. Not sure if I was
cleaning or replacing where the mess was placed.
Felt overburdened by the tiniest responsibility
because bark has no roots, man,
has no way to sink itself
into the softness of soil other than
through decay and decay is long.

Until at one point I realized this
ink of an emotion is my sentient soul’s
pivot point: I can choose to sink further
and that is a beautiful dark surrender
to depression or I can choose to do
some small act like laundry or invoices–
an act no one but my inner witness
will see and applaud.

My pivot point is so tiny and so daily
but that is the point
where I choose to live or to die.

Poem: Calyx


Dominique Larntz * January 14, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”


I am walking uphill on my high
desert winter stroll,
hardly noticing it.
Just as this desert willow
has no idea whether I am
ugly or beautiful,
successful or abysmal,
vain or humble,
violent or kind,
female or male,
if I have a diversified portfolio
or if I have given away my last penny,
I can hardly grasp things about its life,
such as if trees have statuses.

Do they think the redwood
is more evolved than bamboo?
For that matter, is it possible
planted life perceives moving,
mammalian life as less evolved
since we decay back into soil
and eventually–
in an old tree’s time frame–
become plant food?

For now, though, I touch the trunk
of the desert willow on my path,
and we meet, both alive.
No matter what we perceive or call it,
we share in experiencing life and death,
and we complement one another in breath.

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