I am a cedar tree in Mount Lebanon.
My towering head caresses the blue tent,
my evergreen arms reach out to the horizon
and my beauty is always renewed.
The rose-scented breeze combs my hair,
miraculously waters me. Sunshine bathes
my outstretched, mystic limbs.
Fall cannot shed my arrow-like leaves,
nor can Winter bend my mighty boughs.
I long to keep climbing heavenward
to merge with my ideal image-tree
which is in eternity. Lovebirds, rich
in iridescent colors, ecstatically nest
in my faith-veined palms and people
are eager for my swaying shades.
A part of the Moon's silver light I was.
In the beginning, the Almighty granted me
a spiritual gift. I felt the hidden vibrations
of humans thoughts. The lofty ones lifted
my spirits and permeated my veins; the evil
ones repulsed me, making my foliage tremble.
Solomon and his beloved Sheba stood in my
shade and together sang the Song of Songs;
I caught wisdom from his wit and absorbed
love from his lips... Three thousand years
passed... and I was still the Queen-of-Trees,
whose name was glorified by the Bible stories.
Then a conflict between good and evil raged
deep in my roots: a part of me was humble
and humane, the other arrogant and vicious.
A ferocious war erupted within my heart.
I fervently prayed to the Creative Power
to split me and keep me away from
my malicious self. A thunderbolt struck
and consumed it. Fresh scents wafted back
to me; I have prospered while my other self
withered and rotted. I am free of darkness.
Copyright © 2000 Najwa Salam Brax