I recited poetry here, to those who were willing to listen.

I see a tree, standing solo in a silent sky,
Near a mountain, before a storm
One of many about to die.

Branches bold, bereft and bare,
Sap seeks soils shelter, there.

And yet, as an ayat, a sign,
In each season,
A bud of brown,
A burst of green,
A blaze of gold,
Then, volcanic ashes.

Autumn’s sadness,
Instead, of summer gladness.

Like trees, cut down,
Or blown over by a bomb
We bleed, in silence.

Our bodies dry and age,
Our stories stack like cordwood,
Words which fill files, halls and clouds,
As ephemeral ink, tattooed
On printed paper pages,
On electronic screens,
Or wrinkling skin.

In time, often in community’s hearth
A caldera of hearts,

We burn.

Our ashes seed a new reality,
A fertile sea, and earth,
Until phoenix like
As a Saint Helens, flowers, rebirth.