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Weep, Like a Cedar in Lebanon

August 1, 2006

Revision 8/5/2006

My limbs droop,
violent storms have
raked my branches,
all the wind and fury
strips the bark from my back.

I still stand
rooted in the soil of Lebanon,
the once fruitful earth
turning to ash.

Once I was as lush as a date palm,
tall I stood: proud, righteous, strong.

The coming of night was sudden;
No time was given to seed, to birth.

And so I stand, weeping,
crying for my lost children,
the Sunni, the Shi’ite, the Christian, the Jew,
as I witness my roots failing –
my branches breaking –
my scorched needles wilting –
and my trunk rotting.

I weep, a cedar in Lebanon,
and pray for the coming of spring.

Revision 8/2/2006

My limbs droop,
angry storms have
robbed my branches,
all the wind and fury
strips the bark from my back.

I still stand
rooted in the soil of Lebanon,
the once fruitful earth
turning to ash.

Once I was as lush as a date palm,
tall I stood: proud, righteous, strong.

The coming of this dark night was sudden;
No time was given to seed, to birth.

And so I stand, weeping,
crying for my lost children,
the Sunni, the Shi’ite, the Christian, the Jew,
as I witness my roots failing –
my branches breaking –
my green needles wilting –
and my trunk rotting.

I weep, like a cedar in Lebanon,
and pray for the coming of spring.

Original – 8/1/2006

My leaves droop,
angry storms have taken all the
fruit from my branches,
all the wind and fury
strips the bark from my back.

I still stand
rooted in the soil of Lebanon,
the once vibrant earth
turning to ash.

Once I was as lush as a date palm,
tall I stood: proud, righteous, strong.

But the early breezes beguiled me,
I thought I could withstand the angry wind,
the early howl of winter’s killing freeze
in my land of endless summer.

The coming of this dark night was sudden,
I had no time to seed, to flower, to birth.

And so I stand, weeping,
crying for my lost children,
the Sunni, the Shi’ite, the Christian, the Jew,
as I witness my roots failing –
the earth rejecting them –
my branches breaking –
my leaves wilting –
and my trunk rotting.

I weep, like a cedar in Lebanon,
as I pray for the coming of spring.

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7 comments

  1. Daniel, it’s great to see you’ve returned. Some sites you’ll want to check out are http://www.poets101.com and http://ringingofthebards.blogspot.com


  2. AWESOME to see you back! and this poem is wonderful… Hope to see you in The Ringing!


  3. Oh I really love this poem! It says it all! Thank you for writing it….
    Becca


  4. daniel, like i said in my email to you… thank you so much for this poem.

    i wish there were more words than “thank you” for me to share… but i guess that’s why i called on you and everyone else to speak these volumes on my behalf… i am all out of words for what’s happening in lebanon right now. and absolutly stunned at the ignorance of the people around me.


  5. Daniel,

    This is as heartachingly beautiful…

    “I still stand
    rooted in the soil of Lebanon,
    the once fruitful earth
    turning to ash.
    . . .
    I weep, like a cedar in Lebanon,
    and pray for the coming of spring.”

    Makes me choke…

    If I can be so pretentious as to speak on behalf of every Lebanese: Thank you!

    -Ashraf


  6. Daniel,
    This is a wonderful piece of writing. Your last lines as well are breath taking.
    Shirley


  7. Your revisions do strengthen this poem. Nice work!



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