The White Mans Burden

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
And lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
Maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
A cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
Deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
A shout muffled by huge autumns,
By the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
Sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
Climbed up through my conscious mind

As if suddenly the roots I had left behind
Cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood –
And I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent

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The White Mans Burden