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Friday, 2 May 2008
The Bullace Tree


 --published 'Peace & Freedom' 1988--

The little girl had spent years looking from her bedroom window towards the bottom of the garden where the bullace tree had stood and grown since many years before.

It had been a lifetime to her, as long as it takes from the first memory to the last, and it always seemed to be early evening, to such an extent that mornings and afternoons were forgotten completely under the growing shades of dusk; and night, for her, did not exist at all, dreamful sleep being the natural outcome of twilight.


The stars shone bright over the garden, awaiting the moon's arrival with the expectation of excited children early on Christmas day. The tree caught these silver fruit in its branches, and shapes crept up the trunk in yearning quest for their juice.

The compost - formless heap behind the water butt - bore its own fruit: blooming with each heave of its new found life. And more shapes of rapes, turnips and other rooters on route for the tree, lingered at the manure's edge, like unto cars at a petrol station, and moved on, silently, steadfastly...


I am a tree. You can only see the rough bark but, when I place my hands to my body, I feel the sown cruelties and chasms that woman can only bear and, higher, the unripe breasts that need nipples as well as soft flesh.

Up my only leg creep and crawl the rapes and rooters, with whips as long as their arms; and, between the hard strands of my wild head, others munch, mumble, come close to teasing my ears open with foulness.

I have the girl's soul with me, someone's posthumous gift to an ex-lover, an embossed trinket with etched words that mean less than nothing, especially as the affair had slipped into an unattainable past. The words? I LOVE YOU. But useless saying them for my ears are clogged up with grunting brassica.


As dawn enters its first phase, which many mistake for darkest night, I know that Christmas will never come. The gift of soul is rudely snatched from beneath my sagging, blackening dugs: and I can think to speak no longer...


The end was final, until the next; and of root and branch nothing more can be said. The girl, if one she be, did not wake with the dawn, could not wake until her soul grew again and nourished out its containing vessels. If, as one will say, a soul a day keeps the nicker-nacker away: then, the bullace tree will fast agree.

I look up at the bedroom window and her dear little face, like a bill poster, is ever there, day or night, unblinking, unflinching. She looks at me, I look at her, but it is only at certain rare times that we truly see; and then we yearn desperately, for each other's arms to ease the cruelties. But by that time the rooters swarm between us, not very understanding of our plight. And not understanding, there we must leave it.

Posted by augusthog at 4:42 PM EDT
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