(1995: a sustained analogy of two characters with a flower and a tree) .
Roots in the earth, face skyward:
A flower I look unto you O God,
As when the sun too harshly bums down,
For the rain of heaven it looks up pleadingly.
My slender frame, you mark Almighty God,
The tender waist, the fragile face,
A little heat discolours the rose from my cheeks,
Why then, all this harshness?
It came first as a surprise to me O God,
I who in the shade had been born and bred,
To be awakened from my slumber one fine morning,
Like a sleeping baby slapped,
My tree-mother above me, suddenly snapped,
Away from me - that emblem of limitless love
Who in her own magnificent being absorbed
Scorching heat, storm, driving hail,
That I may in my nursery, her lap, play gleefully,
Or in the lush carpet of green
Lie pillowed down,
Stirring a leaf perchance,
By my gentle breathing.
From that lap of comfort am I now thrown out-
That freedom from care, that luxury of ease
Is mine no more; no more
The gentle, soothing sensation
Born of Peace, that humans call Love,
Plays in my bosom and justifies to my reason,
The meaning of existence.
My delicate, sensitive ways too I have forsaken,
As indeed ill-adapted they were
To my new changed position,
When once the winds fury-taken,
In mad and brutal rage against me had blown
(That my back bent down, and my face touched the ground,
And in that posture I remembered you God,
And that same posture remember still) .
Chance but chance it was, I say
That I remained
By some weak fibre of root still attached.
Perhaps the glory of my lovely past
Glimmered flickeringly in my bosom
Like some still un-extinguished torch,
Teaching me that all-consuming hate was not all,
To hope beyond the pale of hope,
Beyond the benumbing aura,
Of absolute, pitch-black darkness.
Now have I stood up, look on me God,
Now have I taken root, now am I strong,
Living with weeds have I learned their ways,
Now have I the strength of ten such, I am proud to say,
They have taught me the trick of life; yet still
My sweet God, they cannot justify to my mind
My present life, while yet
My reason remains flower-like.
My faith is my strength, my virtue my power.
And the sweet, glimmering light in my bosom,
Hope of Love, that spite of all,
Defies, grows stubborn, and lives;
Yet God, while so the goal eludes it,
The hope grows weary and questions my faith,
And I lose my strength,
And seem like a fool seeking streams in a desert.
So my God hurry,
I am but a frail flower,
A hundred years of hardship will not do for me,
Spring itself lasts but a season,
And I think the essence of life
The winds bring me tidings every morning
Of the advance of time,
And I tremble to think of not being snapped,
Only to wither slowly:
A worse end.
Do then, Lord of all powers, do bloom but for an hour,
The heart of this poor, little withered flower.