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The Mulberry Song


after van Gogh’s Mulberry Tree at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California, USA


I am the mulberry tree, ablaze with color

before the last day of autumn


I came into being in a flurry of brush strokes

on a cardboard, under the azure expanse of unfinished sky


turquoise – into cobalt – into indigo

green – into chartreuse – into amber – into gold


buds into blossoms – into fruit – into earth

to fall – to fall not – to end – to end not –


to begin


The brightest star, an ancient supernova,

I am aglow but for a moment


I outshine reality with artifice

exploding off the canvas


paint – paintbrush – swansong


leaves of the earth – ripples in the stream – crystals in the air –

aflame, all aflame


I make magic of the mundane shape of the world

sic est gloria mundi


it is – it will be – it is willed to be –

once captured in a frenzy of light, becoming


time transfigured into swirls of awareness

crystallizing at the edge of oblivion


I am the mulberry tree – I am the alchemist tree –

let my song fill your day till it glows –

become pure gold with me



© Maja Trochimczyk, 2017  

Picture 12947286, painting by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889, image copyright Mary Evans / Pictures Now Collection



Maja Trochimczyk, PhD, is a Polish American poet, music historian, photographer, and author of seven books on music, most recently Frédéric Chopin: A Research and Information Guide (co-edited with William Smialek, 2015) and Górecki in Context: Essays on Music (2017). Her eight poetry volumes include three anthologies, Chopin with Cherries (2010), Meditations on Divine Names (2011), and Grateful Conversations (co-edited with Kathi Stafford, 2018), as well as Rose Always, Miriam’s Iris, Into Light, and two prizewinning books based on Polish experiences of WW2: Slicing the Bread (2014) and The Rainy Bread (2016). A former Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, she is the founder of Moonrise Press, President of the California State Poetry Society, President of Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club promoting Polish culture, and Board Secretary/Communications Director of the Polish American Historical Association. Hundreds of her poems, articles and book chapters have appeared in English, Polish, and other languages. She has read papers at nearly 90 international conferences and received many awards from Polish, Canadian and American institutions, such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the Polish Ministry of Culture, PAHA, McGill University, and the University of Southern California. She spends her weekdays as Senior Director of Planning and Development at Phoenix House California, a behavioural health non-profit agency.