Dark Eucharist ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written March 25th, 2009

Listen here for my reading of “Dark Eucharist.”


Old, scabbed over with parasites,
Lugging the stumps of bent, black, useless limbs,
Brittle, and drained of fire, this plum tree,
Even as he sprouts his first spring coppery leaves,
Looks wintry, wizened, withered.
He stretches feebly, but cannot touch the sun.

Certainly he is a harbinger.
But his pinched message can only be deciphered,
If we track the rugged volutes of his pain,
Not only to this verge where physical sight
Has pushed him to the limits of his form,
But also, inside, where intense and active swarms,
Bunch, dense as shrouds, punched at their very core,
With the purple plush of threadbare, hungry lights.

The tree has been here for many springs and summers,
Seen much of the blue of day and the blue of night,
Always pressing his urges down to that black river,
Where frail men guide blue sails beyond the silence,
The flumes of their wakes a languid shuffling of coppers.

Bend down, you voyagers, listen to that water,
Hear how its urges still ignite a center,
Where even the dead can gather to feast on plums.

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