Mike Barrett

(June,1943 / Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada)

The Bird and the Tree

There was
A bird
That sat
The twigs
Of an old
Old oak.

The bird
And watched
And sat
And thought
And then
At last
It asked
The oak,

' Tree, you're very old
You're very wise
You've seen many a thing
I'll never see -
Can you tell me
Why I am?
Or why you are?
I've flown about
For many a year
And many a thing
I've seen
But I've not yet
Found that answer -
Can you not help me? '

The tree said nothing
But simply stood there
In a loud, loud silence.

A sacred breeze
Rustled through its leaves.

Minutes later
The bird, disappointed,
Not noticing
That anything
Had happened
Hopped from
Its resting place
Into the air -
Once again
To chase after
That which cannot
Be chased
But only

© M. Barrett – all rights reserved

Submitted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Edited: Saturday, November 23, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

If memory serves right, this poem was jotted down sometime during 1999. I was contemplating on the subtlety of 'realization'. We do not command our moments of 'realization', rather knowingness, once earned, comes to us in moments of grace. In this poem, the gift within the sacred breeze, went unnoticed. The bird had not yet earned the 'gift'.

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