On Feeling

© Matthew Word Bain

such stark lines
suggesting someone
with something to say

this tree, literally
& figuratively
beyond the pale
what is its message?
can you feel it?

can you
locate subjective
awareness within its
lived experience?
how does it feel
to be this tree, now?
three years ago?
what caused its death?
did it suffer? is it suffering?
is any part of this tree still alive?

living beings fill the world around us
inhabiting their multivarious physical forms
navigating life by interpreting sensory information
which is to say, feeling
we think of them as less than us
for their want of a cranium like our own

and yet what has driven us to the brink of extinction
if not for our way of thinking without feeling
caught up in emotions and ignorant
of the sensation in our bodies
afraid of it, perhaps, this feeling
while all the time it is there
available to us – that lower intelligence
without which our higher intelligence is pure farce