Journey of the Willow
Underneath the willow tree
to find a way to just be me,
but words of wisdom never would I hear.
I’d make a wish on midnight’s star
of dreams I’ve dreamed of lands afar,
but daylight came and took them all away!
I’d sing a song of joy and pain;
of lightning strikes before the rain,
but mellow words I cry won’t save my life.
I’d tell a tale of days gone by;
of mockingbird’s and raven’s cry,
but wind said, “Save it for another day!”
By night, by day I’d come to know
her wisdom’s in the way she grows,
and how she whispers wishes without fear.
She’d whisper to the clouds above,
“I’ve witnessed dreams and shattered love!”
But soon I’d whisper of the willow’s strife.
“She danced along the river bank,
dipped in her roots and then she drank;
she danced and mourned and swayed where she was told.
“The wind controlled her every sway.
She used to whisper in the day,
when sunlight brought the heron to her nest.
“Then at night the wind did blow
and tossed her branches to and fro,
and scared the mottled heron into flight.”
Her limbs would bend but wouldn’t break —
The dance she danced for living’s sake.
In moonlight soon she’d whisper tales of old.
She’d whisper of her heron friend,
the empty nest, the bitter end,
when from her broken heart she wanted rest.
The river dwindled to a brook
but still she stayed – her life it took!
Her roots shrank and she withered up and cried,
“No more heron’s home to be!
No more friends confide in me!
No more secrets whispered in the night!
“No more dancing by the stream —
no more wishing of a dream.”
The willow’s dreams of days gone by had died.
The phoenix came and danced away.
The bellows blew and the branches swayed;
the withered willow knew not of her song.
The phoenix gathered branches long,
she built her nest and sang her song.
She gathered twigs and leaves to make a spark.
The fire grew throughout the night,
the phoenix’ dance became her flight!
She sang of willow’s secret life gone wrong.
She sang about the heron’s nest,
the change that came upon her breast —
the spring that came just after winter’s snow.
She kept the embers burning high!
The waters flowed where once was dry!
The willow’s branches sprouted buds of spring.
Now once again the willow sings!
The river flows from mountain springs
and gives to me a place where I can go.
I lay beneath the willow tree
to find a way to be “just me”,
and Willow whispers how she loves to sing!
She sings her song in morning light;
She sings a song of Heron’s flight!
She sings of ember echoes in the dark.
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