by Paul Hooker

…the leaping greenly spirits of trees…
e.e. cummings

…they are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season…
Psalm 1:3

Green is the truest color.
It does not lift its eyes too high.
It does not hate like red, nor rage
with orange
nor put on purple’s kingly pretense,
nor like cerulean make promises
it cannot keep.

It has a pulse
like a spring swelling, spilling
over moss-covered stones,
or a tree
planted alongside waters,
grown wise in wisdom’s way;
it does not boast

but knows
that green is not the last word;
there will be urgent warnings,
red and orange,
before the nights of ice and brown,
when gray winds growl it bare of truths.
They roil away.

And, too, it knows
a calm slow turning toward morning
on the leeward side of fury,
—not yet but when?—
deep inside the heartwood darkness
there births another green, still furled,
waiting to be true.