Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Beautiful Trees’ and other poems

By: Louis Efron

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Beautiful Trees

Petrified roots cemented deep
In the rigid jaws of Earth

Arms struggling against another storm
Fruit and leaves dead yet unfallen

Thrust to crack
Crack to break

Limb to limb, serpentine rain
Fills the spaces between

Two imposing figures nestled in a wood
Crowded with figures and their long shadows

One, shades of aged grey and rippled bronze

The other, pinkish amber bleeding into raspberry veins

Both broad bodies of grit and thirst
Stamping tainted legacies into the yielding earth

Vying forever for a bit more sunlight, reaching
Down through their cracks for where shared roots

Lovingly break open the earth


Oh, Father

Adrift on lamenting clouds, an ephemeral tune
A father that no longer answers
All doors in this long hallway of doors, closed
Shadows flicker in a reflective pool of cancer

A father that cannot answer
Fingers stretch and slip, an unstoppable ascent to heaven
Shadows flicker over the skin like cancer
Eyes shut, translucent marbles in the sand

Fingers swiftly curling back, recoiling
Celluloid faces melt in the fire inside
His eyes, lost marbles in the sand
A stained vessel descends into earthly dreams

Frozen light sealed beneath undying screens
Open doors, memorials to intoxicating laughter, bittersweet tears
A bright light extinguished under a blanket of glistening mist
Floating on lamenting clouds, the briefest tune



If I took a hatchet to my skull
The matter would be pinkish, white
A cotton candied paintbrush swirling
Chemical hues on spongy palettes

The matter is not black or white or grey
Cellophane messengers meandering in, out of folds
Stirring chemicals spreading darkened tones
Broken junctions too wide for thoughts to leap

Tired souls recoating vibrant pigments growing dull
Peering out a broken window to gleam purpose
Delivering energy to desperate thoughts, empty canvases
Severed pathways, a million puzzles forced into disarray

Focus fades into a shadowy mosaic of abandoned dreams
Dissipating chemicals, churning into spent trays of hope
Crooked corridors lead to more and more dead ends
If I finally take a hatchet to my skull



Standing in this wide-open space
No paths to wander in sight
An empty expression on my face
No difference between day and night

No moon, stars, or sun
Nor trees or mountain ranges
No beds for water to run
A place adverse to changes

I look around, shades of dull brown
Asking how did I get here?
A nondescript, nowhere town
A rusty welcome sign says “Fear”

Do not move from where I stand
Beads of sweat, a reaching hand
Life now but a grain of sand
Seemed so important when it began



Big eyes, itchy fingers, inches from the plug
No rope or gun, no objection to be heard
An electric slot machine, a jackpot winning tug
A mother’s wish cast aside, life was preferred

Death brings out the very best in people
The ugly DNA of their soul
Self-righteousness hangs above the church steeple
A look into a twisted peephole

The thieving sister lurking in the shadows
The lost brother brought to tears
The controlling aunt who thinks she knows
The conflicted uncle who hides upstairs

Even before the body grows cold
Vultures fighting over the money basket
Papers burned to keep the stolen gold
Jewelry hidden in the viewing casket

The hungry attorney eager to get a share
Governments caught with their hands in the pie
Creditors following the stench of dead air
There is business to be done, no time to cry

Death can be a beautiful thing
Allowing unspeakable evil to sing
Unleashing the pent-up coil spring
But who now has the wedding ring?


Louis Efron’s writing has been featured in Forbes, Huffington PostChicago Tribune, and other major publications. He is also the author of How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love; Purpose Meets Execution; Beyond the Ink; as well as the children’s book What Kind of Bee Can I Be?

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