The Lament of the Firs

 

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,

outside magnitude,

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

the story:

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.

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