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Dogwood tree

Dana's picture



From Camille T Dungy's "What to Eat, What to Drink, and What to Leave for Poison" She writes beautiful poetry, and I decided to paint out one of my favorites, which I have included below. I appreciate the call to accept all parts of oneself, even the ones most would be ashamed by. While I did not connect with Pema Chodron's writings as this poem, I suspect they may have been trying to say similar things.
Come.   Now the brightness here might fill you up,   
but tomorrow?   Who can know what the next   
day will bring.   It is like that, here, in spring.   
Four days ago, the dogwood was a fist   
in protest.   Now look.   Even she unfurls   
to the pleasure of the season.   Don’t be   
ashamed of yourself.   Don’t be.    This happens   
to us all.   We have thrown back the blanket.   
We’re naked and we’ve grown to love ourselves.   
I tell you, do not be ashamed.   Who is   
more wanton than the dancing crepe myrtle?   
Is she ashamed?   Why, even the dogwood,   
that righteous tree of God’s, is full of lust   
exploding into brightness every spring.


alesnick's picture

What a beautiful celebration is this postcard.  Thank you!  And yes, I do see the connection to Chodron and Dass.  Amazing what a difference verses make!  Curious too about how we might lay this poem next to "Disabled Lilacs" and to Kuppers' work with trees!