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Alan Harris reading

Oaks Near Town

by Alan Harris
Black and green
under sunlight
stand these aged oaks,
seasoned wisdom in wood.

"Believe, believe!"
preaches the chapel bell
from a spire in town
to the congregated trees

which, distanced from doctrine,
stand firmly unnoticing
with their branches spread wider
and trunks planted deeper

and roots drinking more serenely
of a living water holier
than even believing can ever
believe belief capable of believing.

Clanging soon ends
and relinquishes
to the forest its
sacred silence.





From the book The Wheel of Yes (1995)

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