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Spring 2007 Edition
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Author: Jon Wesick
Location: Carlsbad, California

Holding a Ph.D. in physics and having studied Buddhism for twenty years, Jon Wesick has enjoyed a front row seat at a collision of world views. He has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as Pearl, Pudding, Slipstream, American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Manís Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, The Magee Park Anthology, The New Verse News, Poesia, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writerís Monthly, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. He has published eight chapbooks, including two that have been honorable mentions in the San Diego Book Awards.

The Despair of the Trees

Clumps of dirt in China
break in the palm like those in Kansas.
Sandís origin, be it Arizona or Iraq,
cannot be determined by its slip through fingers.
Mud clumps to the soles in both Scotland
and Rwanda. And even the most sensitive microscopes
did not detect a change in German soil after 1945.

Neither grass nor birds get passports stamped
when crossing the DMZ into North Korea,
yet birth on one patch of ground
confers happiness; on another, sorrow.
Governments partition the globe
into land to be protected and land to be destroyed,
so I must be wrong about the dirt.

Perhaps it contains some hidden aggression
like a serial killer whose neighbors say
was always clean, quiet, and polite.
How does this insanity infect nations?
It canít infiltrate the food supply. Too much is imported.
It has to be the trees. Pines, date palms, and mahogany
draw poison into their roots and transpire it through leaves.
After a long day exhaling hatred do they weep
at what theyíve become and mourn the simpler times
when they provided only oxygen and shade?

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