Original photo by Marina Kudyakova, edited and acknowledged with thanks
Hell barely missed them on its teeth,
around them Lethe’s waters flow.
Two trees survive on a blackened heath
where a luscious garden used to grow.
One is of Knowledge, trunk straight as a knife,
sprouting branches as knowledge would.
The other one is the tree of Life —
not much of it is understood.
They stand together but scarcely touch,
the tree of Knowledge stately and tall,
with logic flowing root to branch
to reach a leaf, that is, the goal.
The ever pregnant tree of Life
is stripped of its permitted fruit,
compassion its internal drive,
destruction the eternal root.
The two are free to bloom each season
when a breeze can lend them its gentle breath,
though Life eschews the strength of reason
just as Knowledge does the bond of death.