PALM HAND




I recently spent a weekend in the Spanish city of Elche. I always knew Elche was famous for its palm groves but I had not imagined the trees being such an integral and visible part of the city landscape. Dating back to Moorish development of the city in the 7th century when dates were an important food source for humans and livestock, there are now estimated to be up to 200,000 date palms in 97 orchards, protected as a world heritage site. From the 14th century the palm leaves have been used to weave Palm Sunday decorations, an industry that still exists today.

This poem was inspired by one of the hundreds of amazing trees I encountered in my visit to Elche, a beautiful city with a magical green heart.


PALM HAND



Elx palm stands among us,
tree growth so unhurried we
barely see the transformation,
fixated as we are on the
passing of our own youth.

Silently, imperceptibly,
elephant feet stabalise,
deep roots penetrate dry earth,
sapwood utilising every
precious drop of Levante rain.

Spiked leaves reach skywards,
chlorophyll stars in blue firmament
transmuting sun’s life force,
plant honey trickling through
phloem, energy in tree veins. 

Heartwood consolidates,
trunk clothed in gnarled bark,
protecting, securing,
wood hand emerging,
curled fingers cherish life’s seed.



© 2018 Jacqueline Claire Knight.  All rights reserved. 




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