Tung Trees - Poem by Sonny Rainshine
Blooms ivory with roseate veins,
like brush strokes from a single hair.
Low and spindly, they remind you
of bonsai and things Japanese,
being indigenous to there.
The fruits, nuts, begin apple-green
and are tapered at the end like
a child’s spin-top.
When they mature they burnish to
a matte black, become dessicated,
and fall to the ground.
Everywhere they fall a tree will be.
The oil inside
stains the harvesters’ hands
an ocher yellow.
For years they were
planted in orchards
for their oil, additives to paint
In the 1960’s Hurricane Camille blew in
and leveled the fragile trees
like a samurai's sword.
They were never replanted.
Take a drive in rural Mississippi
and you can still see their ancestors
shinto gods rising resolutely from residual kernels,
orphaned, displaced, exotic emigres.
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