Kinship with Saplings

Barry Dawson IV
Feb 17, 2019 · 2 min read
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.

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