For things we know

Once upon a time, a tree grew at the edge of the highway
from a seed dropped by a careless bird. And every day he

missed the garden, the warmth of roots, the touch of other
leaves, even the song of birds. There must be words in

some languages for such yearning, for things we know
without knowing the words for them. Just points on an arc

of rightness. An infinite horizon that separates the
manifest from the improbable. Isn’t that why the universe

keeps expanding? Isn’t that why spring keeps returning,
why a tree keeps growing, alone, in a garden of moving

cars? Isn’t that why a tree gives up and walks away with its
roots and the moon triangulates that emptiness and sighs?

31 thoughts on “For things we know

  1. This poem makes me think about a tree’s loneliness in such a location. Sometimes towns put single trees, at intervals, along boulevards between lanes of traffic, they always look miserable….and THIRSTY.

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  2. Lovely, Rajani! What a beautiful piece of writing you made as your first one! Looking forward to more. I’m not going to be doing them every day any more, but from time to time. It’s a nice practice to return to.

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  3. Intriguing questions and deep I love “yearning, for things we know without knowing the words for them” I do believe we have pre-existing knowledge and truth and memories. Very sometimes they are put into words and the excitement which you get in that case is ultimate.
    The last stanza is great

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  4. There is a small town in Indiana where a tree grows from the courthouse roof. It has been there for years. Imagine how lonely it must be!!

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  5. I am smiling, smiling, smiling… at the thought of trees (even just one tree) that continues to grown in “a garden of moving / cars”. I love the implication rooted in the imagery. Hope blooms in so many ways, even through dire human-made forests.

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  6. The tree walking away conjures up images of the Ents from “Lord of the Rings.” (And, no, I’ve never seen the movies, have only read all three books.) That said, I find myself being saddened at the thought of trees giving up and walking away from where they were rooted. Maybe that’s the story of humanity. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with us: We have walked away.

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    1. Neither the books nor the movie… but I am pondering over your thought that maybe we just walked away instead of staying put and if that was a bad thing? Thanks so much, Magic.

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  7. If only everything that was planted in an environment that was so at odds with what their spirit yearned for could make their escape so neatly. Run, tree, run! And find that perfect patch of earth.

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