An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of June 21, 2009
Issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA

APPLE TREE HAIKU

Working inside those apple trees was like being in a big Haiku poem. Haikus express much in only seventeen syllables in 5:7:5 form. The most cherished Haiku capture a complex emotion or circumstance in elegant, crisp understatement.

So, there I was suspended among solar receptors, the leaves, my whole world bedazzled with green and yellow light translucing through and being reflected by leaves, all that well functioning and beautiful machinery grinding toward the output of perfect apples.

In a few graceful utterances of leaf, stem, shadow, glow and essence, those Haiku-apple-trees spoke profoundly on the fundamental condition of Life on Earth, which is that sunlight fuels the ecosystem in which living things, including us, are enmeshed. And that the whole thing considered together is unutterably beautiful.

An unspoken dynamic of apple trees being Haikus is the implication that the poet is the Universal Creative Force, and you know that I regard myself as a nerve ending of The Force, my experiences as a living creature letting the Force know how things are going in this part of Her Creation.

It may be worth digressing here:

For, there remains in me enough of my history as a Kentucky farmboy rooted in traditional, conservative ways of doing things, thinking about the world and articulating myself to feel rather flaky when I express myself the way I just have. I am vividly aware of how people such as those I am from view such sacrilegious, air-headed (they would call it) and probably unpatriotic or even subversive chatter.

Yet, one insight my 61 years on Earth has imparted to me is that certain of the more important and interesting realms of reality are so abstract and complex that everyday words and everyday ways of expressing oneself about them are inadequate. To articulate about universal, profoundly meaningful and spiritual matters, one must resort to metaphor, allegory, and symbolism of the most varied kind, in the most artful manner. Especially now when the planetary biosphere is collapsing as a consequence of unenlightened human activity, one must speak up in ways that penetrate crusts of insensitivity, ignorance and inappropriate programming. So...

Any creature with a reptilian brain-root can be content on a warm rock looking around, but you need to take advantage of the Sixth Miracle of Nature and the primate corner of the mammalian brain to rejoice in being inside an apple-tree poem, to consciously resonate with that poem, and seek to carry the poem's mystical imagery and energy forward:

The apple tree sings
with me wide-eyed inside it:
Yo! Sun! Here we are!
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