Poems such as ‘The Lament of the Firs’ attempt to sensitise and to stand out against the barbarism and the harmfulness of such customs as that of the slaughter of fir-trees at Christmas and of lambs at Easter by bringing out their absurdity, as in the example of the cutting of fir-trees.
In this way the question arises: after the taking away of the fir-tree’s life, as the living tree is now empty and therefore false, since we have killed it, what do we want with it dead, but supposedly as if it were alive and authentic? Do we want a ‘real’ form without life?
But such a thing does not exist; it is quite simply a horrible and dishonourable custom. These inventions we can combat through our soul. It is to our soul that poetry refers us, and that is the reason why we need it and this is its business.
Its house was warm,
the centuries stretched out on a carpet of fire
free from space,
in the continuity of life,
teeming with memories and possibilities
which reveal the future
hidden in the Eternal.
The little Fir within its seed
like an intangible image of the future
stood peacefully in a reflection of the infinite
and waited for that time
when the gates would open,
for life to stream out
in the currents, in the colours, and in the light,
which softened the harshness of the earth -
gifts of joy from of old
which illumined the darkness.
And the door of the little house opens,
joyfully life surges out
first to roots in the crypts of the earth,
then to the light which dissolved the dark
and joy sang to the tender shoots,
about this invincible arrow of life
which marked so many generations of firs with signs of glory
on the lofty snow-capped mountains,
there where the firs stand in silence
beneath the gaze of the sky
and dream of worlds far off.
But the songs of joy froze one day,
when the first axe-blow wounded a tree
and its cry was heard, despairing, far away,
and death nested in the place of the firs.
Christmas was coming
and the city was lit with lights in their thousands.
For years men had been rejoicing over a Saviour
who spoke of love in the language of men,
but the meanings did not fit within the words
because hearts were closed to their touch.
The glory of life dulled in the worlds of the earth.
Beings desperate for life
in the prison of immobility strive
to find an opening of hope.
But hope is in the hands of man,
which in the absence of the inner life,
with words void of their meanings,
missed something true, to forget the falsehood
and make the feast more beautiful;
to restore the ruins of lost love
which for two thousand years like an Angel has flitted
waiting for the windows of the soul to be opened.
But man has forgotten the fake trees
and wanted the real to take their place,
and these to be dead as well
with only the marks of departing life on them.
And death truly celebrated the day of love
in the warmth of the homes,
filled with festive decorations
but covered by the wave of desperation
which was looking for a saviour in the margin of the world.
And the serene Angel of Love
was inexorable in his judgment:
“Love is not a sham feast,
but an onrushing river of life,
which raises towers of light
in the regions of darkness,
solace in the dreams of the weak
of that time when the thunderbolts
of a strange equality will resound
in the incomprehensible glory of familiarity.”
The Fir wept deep in its heart,
but its stature was still upright,
with dignity in the world.
At another feast it too will issue forth
at the inglorious end of life
with its dead body strangely adorned
and afterwards, mercilessly thrown aside,
for the sake of this ‘love’,
which wanted truth for a symbol,
but only dead had room for it.
And loving responsibility was forgotten
like the judging light of love.
But the festal ‘love’ was dead itself,
a poor memory of that truth
which burns up futile needs
in the patience of the centuries
and awaits that deepening of meanings
to take place in the lightning of time,
for salvation to be eternal
inside the transparent worlds of truth.
The little Fir sought to find a saviour
and the Angel of Love heard
the tree’s lament resounding
in that invisible world
where everything can be heard.
“I cannot save the fir people,
strange laws govern the world
and freedom is severe,
waiting in fields of responsibility outside reason.
But I will take you to a place up there on high
to spread deep roots in the earth
and a trunk high in the sky
for you to tell the world of firs
that salvation is one for all
in this land of the wandering souls
and for this Love, the true Love suffices.”
And a human eye gazed upon
the Fir one day
- but within it was the eye of that Angel -
and the man chose to take the Fir
to the mountain, to a beautiful garden
near the tall trees which stand there.
And ever since fine stories have been heard
about the fairies of the fir wood,
who talk only of Love
beneath the great shadows of the firs
and should you pass by at night,
you will hear their words in whispers far afield
about a world of beauty
which will come one day.