Writing Desk

Caressing the invisible seams
Of this writing desk,
I learn something about significance
And insignificance,
And that lesson is this:

Significance is not measured
In how big or little
An event or concept or object is,
Or in its impact on you
In the present.

Significance is measured in history,
In future and in

My fingertips swirl around a
Darkened clot in the wood
Of my desk –
A clot that was once a knot
In a tree trunk somewhere.

These lines and grooves I now run my fingers along,
Were once the veins of a tree.
And perhaps that tree was like a tower,
King of the forest,
And perhaps it was small, and ordinary,
And much like the other trees
Surrounding it.

But my point is that when man made
That first incision,
That first swing of the axe,
That first grind of the saw,
That tree neither gained nor lost
Any significance,
Not even as it fell and lay bleeding oxygen
Into the Earth's muddied floor.

It moved onto the next part of its cycle;
It morphed, and was morphed,
And became something new:
Something useful, something crafted,
Something tangible and true.

And now that tree
Is my writing desk,
And my writing desk
Was once that tree.

And one day,
It may be a wardrobe,
Or a chair,
Or a bookcase,
Do you see?

And one day, this writing desk,
After whatever its last guise will be,
Will become ashes that will float,
Dust particles on the wind,
Atoms in the universe
That will begin the cycle again.

And I guess that every little thing
Will be or once was something incredible
At some point.