The knot is tied and fear flips over . . .

The recognition that white snakes were arms

of women–mother’s nurture, winding blench–

rose through your skin insidious as steam,

uncoiled from long submersion, seeping out

of smug protected memory. You sit,

a sorry daughter, feel her fold

her arms in rolls of dough around your skin.

Your heart confesses murmurs–babbling scarlet,

braiding twining thoughts into contrition.

Wrapped as this, you can’t untangle it.

The knot is tied and fear flips over, you are scared.

You can’t think where you ought to run.

Banyan Tree


Banyan Tree by Herb Kawainui Kane


Woody torso, heft of skeleton,

dendriforming figs, tholes

the afterthought.

Roots (fruit too,

in a sense), insouciant

to the central source—

long established trunk,

arbor vitae whose gray

nerveness overponders,

overspills herself.

Roots take off and variously plunder

the ground, groping for re-entrance

till that tree is many-fettered in options,

multiple sources, arboreal vividity

rigid in basilisk lock.