Ibn al Haytham - The First Scientist - Alhazen - Ibn al Haitham - Alhacen  


The eucalyptus is gigantic,
as round as a tower and as tall,
but the clue that it holds a treehouse
is very, very small:

just a narrow strip of wood
nailed to one side,
ready to brace your foot
like a trusted guide.

Above it slants another board, wider.
Above that, another still—
A secret, sideless ladder
for testing your strength and skill.

Hand over hand you climb it,
never looking down.
The birds, your only companions.
Your breath, the only sound.

At last you reach a wooden room,
hushed as a temple, dark,
littered with ancient scrolls
of cracked and weathered bark.

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Copyright © 2008 by Bradley Steffens

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