Tree of Life Review



AIRMAIL: Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project by Jessica Falcone

COLUMN: Storiedmusic — The Night I Walked Out by DJ T’challah

NOVEL EXCERPT: In a State of Partition by Aneesha Capur

UP THE CREEK: Editor’s Notes — Art, Yoga, and Abu Ghraib

Natural Beauty

Nonnie’s Oak, New Hope


Fear stood oaken
In a meadow
Gathering to storm
Upward into a sky
Of trouble.



this lake:
a slow filling, not a running
and not of water but of color;
sky engulfing
Earth in its tissues and paints, warmer
for water; a mirror
engulfs the engulfing sky,
mirrors bigger, more.

And the scene
has not yet found green
in staggering energies
of a month with a name —
the scene
seeping, like sky to water, like water
to root, like sap to color:

Cundy’s Harbor


Skip, memory, smooth as a pebble
Over a rippleless surface.
As ponds lap shores, words lap worlds,
Lipping warmth and wish.
A bank of grassy yellow — or
Would you say the tawny
Pelt of summer slumbering?
Memory — numberless,
Humble, human —
Hasten to catch
A where, a when,
A quiet (brush on canvas),
A mothering light.

December Tide, Casco Bay


Where it all
Where the open is
Where shriek where tick
Where slopes of chance
Where slow evade
Where erode
Where surge withdraw
Where electric concentrate
Where sink
Where decay lace
Where the torn foam
Where reeds incline
Where the edge the ecotone
Where to osmose
Where brevity wave sinews
Where through sieve mud light
Where salt meets the sweetness of the burn
Where dawn shifts evening
Where rags of possible
Where press filter quiets
Where what tiniest organic infinite
Where spawn tang of estuarial sump
Where tidal diffusion song cluster
Where only rise
Where it begins

“Artists through the ages have always tried to accomplish the impossible, fitting the great expanse of nature within the confines of a two dimensional canvas. I do this to share with the viewer the thrill of seeing a particular slant of light, the recognition of mortality in a rotting tree trunk, or the sense of peace and well being on a late afternoon by the ocean. Because the fragility of the environment is becoming increasingly apparent, I want to observe and record the world around me as closely as I can. John Sloan said, ‘Nature is what you see plus what you think about it.’ Working in the studio from sketches and photographs, I mentally return to the place I am painting until I can feel the warmth of the sun or the sound of the breeze in the trees. By re-experiencing the moment that inspired the painting, I feel I am putting down my own kind of truth about Nature and where I stand within it.”
— Eliza Auth

Eliza Drake Auth

Eliza Drake Auth

Eliza Drake Auth is a painter who lives and works in the Philadelphia area. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Primarily a landscape painter, her work can be seen at Sherry French Gallery, New York City and Richard Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia.

ART: Natural Beauty — Paintings by Eliza Drake Auth & Poems by John Timpane

John Timpane

John Timpane

John Timpane is Associate Editor of the Editorial Board of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He edits “Currents”, the Inquirer’s Sunday ideas section; he also writes editorials and op-eds and consults on the daily “Commentary Page.” Before coming to the Inquirer in 1997, he taught English at colleges and universities for 17 years. He has published poetry, fiction, essays, criticism, and four books: Writing Worth Reading (coauthored with Nancy H. Packer: NY: St. Martin, 1994), It Could Be Verse (Berkeley: Ten Speed, 1995), Poetry for Dummies (coauthored with Maureen Watts: NY: Hungry Minds, 2000), and Usonia, NY: Building a Community with Frank Lloyd Wright (coauthored with Roland Reiseley: NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000). He is married to Maria-Christina Keller, copy executive of Scientific American; they live in Lawrenceville with their children, Pilar and Conor.

ART: Natural Beauty — Paintings by Eliza Drake Auth & Poems by John Timpane
POETRY: Song of the Blessed One — The Bhagavad-Gita, Canto 11
SPOTLIGHT: Poetry, Science, and the Big Bang: John Timpane