The lone cedar has chosen this desolate place,
preferring solitude to the comfort of leaf dwellers.

Facing towards morning, his back to the sun,
tree has taken on the shape of awakening.

Shadows beneath his feet root him to sorrow’s dark
soil while nourishing joyful branches.

His leaves, brushed by early breezes, remain loyal
to upright limbs of amber and obsidian.

He has tasted the freedom of nonattachment,
yet still blushes crimson with sunset.

In the vast mind of sky, he is laughing Buddha,
steadfast in the face of time’s bright wind.
By Carol Alena Aronoff

Carol Alena Aronoff, Ph.D., psychologist and writer, co-authored Practical Buddhism: The Kagyu Path and published Compassionate Healing: Eastern Perspectives. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Potpourri, Poetic Realm, Poetica, Mindprints, Dream Fantasy International, Beginnings, Hawaii Island Journal, In Our Own Words, Theater of the Mind, Animals in Poetry, From the Web, Heartlodge, Tiger’s Eye and Out of Line. She received a prize in the Common Ground spiritual poetry contest and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her chapbook, Cornsilk, was published by Indian Heritage Council in 2004; her illustrated poetry book, The Nature of Music, and an expanded, illustrated Cornsilk were published by Pelican Pond in 2006. Her Soup Made the Moon Weep was published by Pelican Pond in 2007. Currently, Carol Aronoff resides in a rural area of Hawaii–working her land, meditating in nature and writing.