The Religion Tree: A Poem



The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree,

and we are all leaves on the same tree,

and will take our leave from there.


The yellow leaf signals fall, the

green leaf, pride before the fall. The

bud is born to fall. Death unites us all.


Better be the tree. Call your tree

self the True Self. Don’t be

the transient leaf self.

That’s the Hindu way to be.

You’ve always been the tree.


Hold on, Atman! You started as

a bud. Your green is turning

yellow now. Bodhidharma says:

Face this wall. Detach before the fall.


No, live before you die! 

This ithe Nietzsche leaf talking. 

Toss off all god-labels of leaf or tree.

Creatively be.


But what about the Tao?

How can a leaf ever really resist the wind?


And what about sin? We’re

hearing from the Jesus

apple now. Cursed is anyone who

hangs from a tree. I hung for you,

drank, drooped, descended,

left a seed. Behold,

the True Tree! Contra the

Buddha and Bodhidharma,

cling to Me.


But what about Old Jerusalem?

(Insert Muslim or Jew here.)

This is our branch and we

are its true leaves. So it is written

in our leaves. God gave us the Temple

Mount. All others must go from here and I AM.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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