Will you look?
Will you look past your lens
and its leaning towards a certain perspective.
Remembering we are all short
Instead will you have eyes
Which may in some respects mean
And will you look blind then
until your eyes adjust.
Will you look,
really look hard
at what is not first
Will you see how there’s a world
to be seen in the length of two square feet.
A world so different to appearances
that in wonder you might hold your breath.
Will you look at how colour changes.
How it can take on the hue of its neighbour,
or stand out alone
and boldly bright.
How textures have unexpected peaks
and hollows like mountain-scapes.
Will you see how much life exists
on one small arching stem.
How for some, this small expanse
is a world contained.
And when you’ve seen,
will you restore your lens with the new awareness,
that everything which exists is –
like a Russian doll –
within a universe.
And will you see your friends,
and nature’s expansive bounty
and your neighbours
with newly gained respect.
And will the stranger,
someone to whom you might have summed up
with a glance,
be worth too
the removal of your lens.
Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” Georgia O’Keeffe
“A tree is alive, and thus it is always more than you can see. Roots to leaves, yes -those you can, in part, see. But it is more -it is the lichens and moss and ferns that grow on its bark, the life too small to see that lives among its roots, a community we know of, but do not think on. It is every fly and bee and beetle that uses it for shelter or food, every bird that nests in its branches. Every one an individual, and yet every one part of the tree, and the tree part of every one.”
Elizabeth Moon, Oath of Fealty