Kinship with Saplings

Image by author
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.

1.
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.

2.
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.
 ***

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