This one was a bloody stubborn thorn in my mind...
Damn these roots, like iron they seem,
Growing down and out from me,
Grasping grass and stubborn dirt,
As greedy as a starving dog with a bone.
For every bit of life they find,
Soak up, and suck within myself,
Binds me tighter, holds me here
Beneath the swirling, rootless sky.
Damn this clinging, miserly earth,
For I can only watch the sun and moon
And stars fly over, mocking me
And calling me to come and see
What they have seen, to stand and step
And stride away from star to star.
Damn the weather, damn the spring,
And summer, autumn, winter--all!
The seasons simply tell the time
And freeze my sap with ice and snow
Or bring the warmth and make it flow
And bid me bear my rags of green
Or gold from year to year--
Year after year of servitude
With no release except for death.
These roots take ever-tighter hold
From year to year, from day to day,
And leave me here to stand on Earth
And raise my head, and reach my arms
Up to the endless, groundless sky,
And raise my silent, shrieking voice
Above the drowning din of life
That bustles just beyond my grasp.
Damn these roots, this armored trunk,
These branches flung both far and wide!
Bring me your sharpest ax or saw
And let me hack them all away,
So I may climb upon the rain
Like a ladder into the wandering clouds
And ride the lightning through the air
Instead of awaiting its fiery crash.
Or chop me down and, limb by limb,
Break me from these clinging chains.
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