Saturday, April 13, 2013

Abstruse

Abstractions of Civilization
grow a Tree
but fell the black oak
the white oak and
the red oak
to make Floors,
first floor Deep and
penthouse Towering Transcendent,
and as Words less particular
expand in number and meaning
Man climbs out of his Cradle
and ages Wise and Philosophical 
but there is a Grave that lies in wait,
for what Civilization has been able
to stand its Ground without
the Black Oak
the White Oak and
the Red Oak.

     This poem grows out of my epiphanic confusion brought on by reading the following from The Story of Civilization:  Our Oriental Heritage by Will Durant.  ". . . Choctaw Indians had names for the black oak, the white oak and the red oak, but no name for oak, much less for tree . . . abstract terms seem to grow in a reciprocal relation of cause and effect with the development of thought; they become the tools of subtlety and the symbols of civilization."  But it seems to me that as civilization matures itself in abstractions, the ability to know the difference between an oak and a maple, much less between a black oak, a white oak, and a red oak, is civilization's dementia and ultimate demise.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #146.