“Shidarezakura”, “The Gardener” and “Walks of Life”

“Shidarezakura”, “The Gardener” and “Walks of Life”


A childhood tree
my Father chopped down,
grunting and griping
in the Summer heat:
“It has to be done,
it has been dead for years,”

said with pale wood chips
lodged in his mustache
(And he was not fibbing —
It did not bloom
for four springs,
and its thin little twigs
would creak in the wind)
“I know, I know…
but it is such a shame”

was all I could mutter —
He started the chainsaw
and sundered my words,
trying to finish
his cumbersome chore
So I watched him go
under petrol stenches,
Branch by frail branch;
A few broke to pieces,
displaying their rot
As they met the ground
And when most was gone,
I looked at the stump
to realize it all —
No more pink petals
stuck in my hair,
No more plump bees
scouring for pollen,
Not one more bud
to signal the Season…
I stopped my Father there
and asked for a moment
to weep for the Weeping:
A steward to Earth
cut down to the ground,
A muse of my spirit
now stowed in the Past

The Gardener

Disheveled with a shovel,
I inherited the dirt
and dug with all my muscle
To make something worthy
of all that was lacked
Years I tilled, years I tended,
my back hunched or arched —
Time’s Sands to fertilize,
Vexed tears to water
Until petals appeared

But as soon as they yielded,
the Estate reversed;
I worked to see nothing
But myself, Inherited
by the dirt, perennial

Walks of Life

Some walks of life run —
A marathon per minute
down jagged roads,
Approaching destinations
most souls only dream

Some walks of life stagger —
At night, sway cirrhotic
By glaring dead ends,
Feigning a freedom
that will never be true

Some walks of life limp —
A lumbar at loss
and throbbing eternal,
but still do they try
to move and to prove

Some walks of life skip —
That puerile patter
through gold-plated paths:
A sweet sense of youth
not yet grown away

But my walk of life,
it does not walk at all —
It lies in the sheets,
in pillows and dozes…
Never to move
but for tosses and turns

About the Author

Edward Hemstreet

Edward Hemstreet is a surfacing writer from New Jersey, United States. His works have been featured or are forthcoming in Quail Bell Magazine, Roanoke Review, Visitant, and New Thoreau Quarterly. In other realms of literature, he has been refining the manuscript for his first novel, The Model, for the past year. When not writing, he may be found drinking uncomfortable amounts of tea.

Read more work by Edward Hemstreet.