I just created this draft today, read it to my best friend, who loved it, so thought I’d share it here, too.
I’m counting this as my effort for day 5 of the April PAD Challenge, too, to write a discovery poem.
On Beards And Trees.
My mother hated beards.
Especially, it seemed, the idea
of me having one.
No sooner than I had even the hint
of one on my face
I would hear
‘I wish you’d shave, Simon,’
‘you need a shave, I know that.’
Sometimes, the message had no words,
just a finger under the chin,
or a sharp intake of breath
and the shaver would suddenly get put in my hand.
For such a long time, I had no idea
why I resisted.
After all, it was such a simple request,
full of love and pride for an offspring.
I have always had a good, electric shaver
which would do the job in minutes,
resulting in a clean and easier to wash face
and a happier mother.
It would even stop the itching
that always accompanies any kind of facial hair on me.
I always resisted, and sometimes,
resist even now.
Today, while reading a poem
in a book on poetry,
it came to me.
Shaving, was change.
The kind of change that subtracts from the present,
to add to the future.
Suddenly, I understood so much more.
That’s what the present does.
Makes room for change and improvement.
In the autumn, so many trees
shed their leaves. They go all winter long
waiting for spring
and new growth.
It’s so natural to them,
I doubt they even think about it,
or whatever is the tree equivalent of thought.
For humans thought might start with a sound,
or a remembered image
and come out as a smile,
‘do you remember when…’
or a poem.
Maybe, for trees, it starts as light,
but instead of photosynthesis into nutrition,
it comes out as the green
of spring, the golds and browns of autumn,
and the ice cold beauty
of winter snow on branches.
Maybe, if trees’ thoughts are like that,
they don’t care about losing leaves.
Maybe if human thought was like that
I wouldn’t care about shaving,
and cruelty and hatred
would be consigned to history lessons.