Tuesday, January 13, 2015

                                            REDWOOD TREE, BIG SUR

                                                    for Robert Stone

A tree is a needle
The rest is bark and age
It is the most immaterial of objects
Nothing but aspiration
A bridge of sighs
Yet it has benefits, it does for others
Heedlessly, without knowing,
Without plotting
Sheltering for example our sunburned heads
Granting the hunter cover
The lover too
Hauling up all our toxins to the gods
So they can be burned and returned as
Free vitality
Too great to take in, this monstrous web
Of benefits
That it ignores
Because that is not the job

It is a needle
All it does is pierce
The sky, the earth, the ones who are not there



  1. There is a large stand of poplar trees miles wide in Colorado comprising 10s of thousands of individual trees that is actually a single organism, the largest known entity on earth - one single individual ( @ rhizomatic,intertwined root mass) All sprouts ( the trees) share identical genome. Cool poem. Don't miss "Plant Intelligence" by Stephen Buhner ( though too druggy-hippieish some cool ideas about tree smarts)

  2. Seeing Samuel Beckett is cooler than seeing 2d coming of Jesus. SB was awarded the Croix deGuerre by de Gaulle for his bravery in French resistance in WWII.

  3. I was wondering if you ever saw the movie "The Hit"--made about 30 years ago. Movie was very different in focus, but several of lines of this poem made me remember it. I felt the same jolting encounter with "the monstrous web of benefits." I like your poem a great deal.

  4. Dear Mr. Kirn, as an 82ng Airborne Infantryman, former/always, I have to say, while I like looking at trees while on the ground, I hate to see them underneath my feet coming up at me when I am in the air.

    1. I guess trees also pierce paratroopers too...