Poems‎ > ‎

A Leaf in Full Flood

I

I love the beauty of a leaf.

I love the shape,

The exuberant line,

The flesh, the skin of a leaf,

The vivacity of green.

 

Green yellow-lifted,

Green weighted by blue,

Green with a dry olive languor,

Green leached with white

To a delicate Arctic hue.

 

Flesh plump and glossy,

Flesh that’s thin and dry,

Flesh fine and lacy,

Flesh armed for battle

With a sharp and spiky livery.

 

II

A leaf, one may say, is of small account,

Something merely temporary.

But so am I, so are we all –

All of value merely fragmentary.

 

The leaf is so intensely leaf,

As if this is its will.

It lives its life so perfectly.

I too have my will.

 

I do what I am called to do

And do it well, or try,

For only I can be the magnificent me.

With all the currents of my being

I do my best to fructify.

 

I burst the banks of my existence,

Burst the bounds of greenery,

Make my life a mark of greatness,

Make it more than scenery,

 

Wear the many multi-colours

That a forest can display,

Step outside my inherent smallness,

Find the best that I can be.

 

III

How so?  How can we shine?

Connection is the key.

Draw from our sacred spirit source

As leaf draws nourishment from the tree.

 

Connect with the spirit source our God,

As a child takes succour from the womb;

Connect with life and truth and love,

Create new life and truth and love, new bloom.

 

As a leaf draws light from the sun

And draws water from the tree,

As leaf gives breath to life and

Makes its own new energy.

 

When sap in all its fullness flows,

Nature joins as one;

Sunshine soil rain - all coalesce

In a dance that drives the planet on.

 

IV

To reach the bounds of our potential,

Expand our capability

Is a turbulent route, through many states,

From budding youth to ripe maturity.

 

How can we know when we’ve arrived,

When nothing further is left to explore?

We cannot know; perhaps because

There is no river bank, no shore.

 

Still it is my great desire

To feel the frenzy of the blood,

Filled with the thousand currents of my being

As a leaf in full flood.

 

V

When at last the sun retires

And autumn has its day,

There comes the sadness – beauty too -

Of seniority, the onset of decay.

 

Assailed by blight or bite

Or simply age, we wither and fade.

Our parting gift is dignity,

Like a stone wall, red ivy-clad.

 

The weakened leaf falters in the air,

Tossed on the currents of the breeze,

Then drops down onto the stream,

Disappears who knows where.

 

But death has purpose too:

Regeneration’s portal door,

Like leaf mould warm and moist

Upon the forest floor.

 

As well, we thrive in unexpected ways:

Acanthus on a temple frieze,

The laurel instrument of praise,

The oak which honours victories.

 

VI

When rain gods come, and

Flood plains fill with warm fertility,

Then like the debris swept along,

Thoughts may wander free.

 

Does a flood know where it’s bound?

Does it count the milestones?  No.

Do strictures stop it in its path

Or mindless pettifoggery?  No.

 

With energy, tingle, rush, zip,

Fun, adventure, mystery,

Quickening of the vital sap -

Live out your brilliant destiny.

 

Be your best, no compromising,

Flow hard to the sapphire sea,

Tumbling on to the horizon,

Searching for the wide-mouthed sea.