Turning Forty Under the Banyan Tree

The aerial roots grow upwards,

The branches down.

This sacred tree of India,

Also grows in Maui, Hawaii.


Buddha is known to have sat 7 days in contemplation

 In its shade

and Krishna is known to have rested

     Under its leaf.


The English writers in the 1600’s wrote that

Merchants did business under this tree.


So you my friend, who are turning Forty,

  Can wear this emblem around your neck with a cool black tee

        And become

          Like the “One who cherishes this tree,

                 and knows the secrets of the Vedas.”

The  roots grow up to show the influence of older brothers,

   Sisters,  fathers, mothers,

         The sacred family,

  as the branches seek the security of the earth

    when they stretch out to discover the world.


-Thea Schiller

Thea Schiller, a New York poet and psychotherapist facilitates a poetry workshop at the Somers Library in Somers, N.Y. and practices psychotherapy in CT. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from The City University of New York, and an MS in counseling from Western CT State University. Her poem, “Sarah” was the Orchard Poetry Prize winner in Furrow, University of Wisconsin. Recently, her poems have appeared in The San Diego Annual Poetry Review 2017-2018, Edify Fiction, The Ravens Perch, 4th & Sycamore, Hevria, Lucent Dreaming and The Tenth Muse as well as many small literary journals in the past. When given the chance she follows her muse from Norway to Greece.