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Thursday, August 31, 2017's as if you all pulled up stakes...

Trees...'s as if you all pulled up stakes
and followed me here
always knowing where to find me
where you
or your kin
continue to assure me
that my days will never
lack you
that my love for you
has not gone unnoticed.
Still now after all this time
after seeing your now abandoned
spots the vast swaths of ground
where you once stood
bare now
empty of you
of your lush
majestic and sage
But then I slip out of bed
and there you are outside my window
beckoning like some playful friend
eager to commiserate here
of all places
where to others
to those who think
that fewer of you would be
just something
to be taken down
that more light is better
and that some of you
lean just a little too far
for comfort.
Your topmost leaves
tremble in the late-summer breeze
fill the large gap
that my leaving you
not once but twice
created but how silly of me
to fret for even just a moment
that you aren't capable of this
of healing this wound
of once again
filling my days.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trees...I heard you last night...


...I heard you last night sighing
long and mournfully your tops
swaying in the wind gusts
tapping each other at times
making snapping cracking sounds
as your newly young spring-stiff limbs
touched met and none of you
the worse for it.
I heard you through my window
open always despite the cold
and wondered again what it was
you were sighing about or do I
even need to ask when at dawn or
nearly so I creep from my bed again
toward a light that flashes as faces
and arbitrary dictums in
my still-dark early-morning living room
that hasn't seen the light of day yet.
The faces don't care what time it is
there is no curtain dropping nor anthem
playing to a snowy screen at 11 p.m. anymore
hasn't been for a very long time now so
things come at us always from all sides no end to it
lives shattered and worlds tilted in
the wee hours no regard for the rest we need
respite from a horror not possible
back there among you.
So when I've taken all I can I crawl back
weary to my bed pull the curtain aside
to see your tops still swaying hear
your entish sighs unceasing you
who make sense who stand resigned who
render the word ugly irrelevant because
it simply does not exist in your world
as it does in mine or perhaps as mere
shadows that you dismiss summarily
at dawn.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Trees...what are you making of us...

...what are you making of us
who bask beneath you
at more serendipitous
carefree times
enjoy the shade you provide
your riotous spring
summer and fall colors
that mesmerize us leave us
breathless wordless...
...are you shaking your great heads
in consternation puzzling
at our inability to grasp certain truths
at our confusion if only we might
content ourselves to stand patient
as pines stoic as oaks
demure as maples
pliable as birches...
...there is something to be said
for standing still allowing things
to take their natural courses without
our needing to move a single branch
or twig that time and the world
know enough to resolve them
with none of us the worse for wear
like so many of you who bounce back
joyously each year from winter's
...rather we grasp and claw
struggle toward what we already know
to be so
but refuse to take in through
our own bark fearful
always that we'll lose our way
stray become lost if only we knew
that all we need do is stand still
and wait it out like trees...
like you...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trees...within a shell...


within a shell as weary and wizened as yours

as streaked with the rain's tears

split by the coming and going of

summer and winter

gouged by the ravages of insect

and illness

my heartwood expands

each ring a story

each layer a weight

that roots me more firmly

to this spot


no longer bearing fruit

but rather tidings


which is what old things do

I stand much as you

biding what time is left me

fade into a landscape

of new things new dreams

and whatever else

a new generation reaches for


that has nothing to do with stars

or sunlight or moons

etched with the shadows of branches

and leaves that burst forth in spring

singing a green song

a song without words

that I play

over and over again

even in sleep

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trees....I go to you


I go to you
as to no others
my shame exposed
my finiteness revealed
I bow before
your kind
who have known
the angst
of ages
been toppled
in the name
of progress
for beauty's sake
you who are
beauty incarnate
who welcome
my imperfection
my crude exterior
that you pierce
to make me
you speak without words
not like we
with our sounds
and inadequate
you speak
with leaves
with sighs
and stirrings
with bits of light
that come together
into thought
telling stories
sharing secrets
revealing truths
known only to you
as you have
these ages
the wind
the sun
the rain
and birds

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Trees...unless we were there...

...unless we were there when you first took hold
on some dark night not far beneath the soil's surface
when whatever seed produced you split open
revealing all its truths the promise of root and crown
introduced you to the world we can't know
how long you lived how long you held birds
in your arms made space for tree houses
or sheltered lovers from spring rains
thrilled us with myriad greens in summer
and riots of red orange and gold in autumn
we can't know this fact irrelevant
as it is in most cases for why should we care
how old you are or how long it took you to get there
where you stood with others who made it
the struggle the merciless winds you bore the ice
that threatened to do you in several times
it only makes it all the harder to bear when they
finally do away with you leaving
just a stump all that's left of what you were
I remember a pine tree whose layers
from its heartwood out
numbered close to a hundred and how
I stood there bent over it knowing how long
it had taken it to get there and how quick its demise
painless unless you allow how fickle Time is
how quick to unravel all that she has pushed along
to the here and the now toward some culmination
that means nothing

I did not thrill to that
but then when you are gone
we know don't we
we count rings run our fingers lovingly and respectfully
across your damp remains your uncharacteristic flatness
where once stood lushness and character
and say things like "ah" and "oh"
and marvel that we can do it
forgetting all that you once did for us
all that you once were
even in death you do this much for us

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Trees....even when I am not with you...



...even when I am not with you

I am with you

if only through my window

as you shed your fall attire and wait to don

your winter finery


a few of you left recently

decimated by the tree service



I sat by watching as they

toppled you sent you crashing to the ground

where you sent shudders through me for

the last time and then


someone came to erase what was left

grind away at your soul

at the records of your years

your dust fell

mingled with the soil

and then I went out

to claim you

to scatter as much as I could of you

among my flowers

where you will never be forgotten

at least not by them


and now it's as if nothing was

ever there at all

as if you'd never stood there

straining beneath the taller trees that had

the advantage all along but you never gave up

reaching for the sun



nor will I