"Brushwood and Thorns"
If you are brushwood and thorns,
you have been forced to become so,
to survive, to live, tough and twisted.
Your branches borne against ravages
the harsh unyielding elements
roots searching through barren soil.
Yet the roots of smallest weeds
can over time turn rocks to dust.
The miserly old trees above.
whose roots suck the soil dry,
though tall, find themselves corrupt,
rotting, hollow from within.
The storm approaches, winds shift;
sounds of cracking wood, crashing trees,
falling under their own dead weight.
Then upon gentle rains and a new day,
the brushwood and thorns leaf green
Remembering that they are roses
CLEO CREECH has been published online in White Crane and other journals. He is the founding editor of Java Monkey Speaks, a continuing anthology series of Atlanta-area poets, and is a past editor of Georgia Poetry Association. About "Brushwood and Thorns," Creech comments: In an effort to dismiss the protesters the president of Iran referred to them all as mere "brushwood and thorns." This has now been taken up as a ralllying call, and point of pride among protestors. Governments should be careful what they call their detractors, it may come back to haunt them, just ask the Cuban gusanos."