• Gordon L. Magill

Poem by Gordon L. Magill

In the darkest forest of the human psyche

grows a tree has flourished ten thousand years;

this tree is one that will not die,

is not immortal, but endures;

nor has its birth in nature or civility

but spreads and spreads

fed on soil from all wars and inhumanity

through the ages until today

Coiled in its roots lie hate and fear

the massive trunk is corded with patriarchy

and the spreading branches of this nightmare tree

are misogyny, monotheism, monarchy, colonialism,

capitalism, and the myth of intellectual, cultural

and racial supremacy.

In the darkness of the human psyche

the tree flowers evil through the night:

flowers of war and conquest; slavery, every bondage;

genocide, the Inquisition, the Great Burning

of millions of innocent women;

the extermination of species and indigenous cultures;

usurpation of native lands, the use of science

for mass destruction; the rape and pillage of the Earth;

not last, the over-heating of the planet.

This vast tree can not be uprooted

nor can it be felled, burned down;

nor is there a poison that will make it die.

Indeed it thrives on poisoned thoughts —

poisoned thoughts that are taught

since babyhood to every mind in which the tree

is planted and grows.

The only hope, the only cure, the only salvation,

to overcome the power of this dark forest tree

is the light: the light of empathy, of tolerance,

of understanding, of mutuality, of shared destiny,

of unconditional love for all peoples,

all beliefs, all hopes and dreams:

that this light of consciousness will illuminate

the minds of the young and children yet to come,

then all humanity may share the common dream

of peace ― and learn to live as one

on this tiny, fragile planet under our only sun.

© Gordon L. Magill 2020


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