2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 10

Okay; we’re somehow already a third of the way through April. How did that happen?

Today’s “Two-for-Tuesday” prompts are:

  1. Write a Forest poem.
  2. Write a Tree poem.

You can literally write about a forest. Or you can literally write about a tree. Or you can dive right into the metaphor separating the two. Your choice. Get creative with it.

Here’s my attempt:

“Trees”

They often blend together
when they’re packed together
like that. I mean, one branch
bends around another and
another but not touching,
save when the wind blows hard.
I mean, it’s hard to pick
a favorite–until I find
one so twisted and unique
that I want to live inside
it or build a house beside
the tree beside the stream
that carries my thoughts to you.
I mean, you’re always on my mind.

*****

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439 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 10

  1. Brian Slusher

    Hour Tree, you have grown
    massive between the lanes
    of I-85, a giant’s leafy diadem
    crowning a hill of grass. I’ve
    sped past for thirty years,
    remarking your progress
    from average to titanic, noting
    the ribbons wrapping your
    colossal trunk for soldiers,
    survivors, the defiantly
    hopeful or stubbornly un-
    resolved, but for me you
    marked the boundary of desire—
    one brief hour to my baby’s
    door. How I loved to see you
    reaching for the sky, tossing
    birds into the air like confetti.
    One day the lightning will find
    you, blight rip at your roots,
    you’ll surrender to a road crew’s
    hard-hatted slaughter, but I’ll
    keep you growing, budding
    beyond fantastic, unseen but
    vast as a summer empire, and me
    on the Silk Road to love.

  2. StephanieRosieG

    at 17, i drove out to the Gila Wilderness
    (not an unusual act); the rugged forest of the southwest
    so different than the northeast’s claustrophobic green

    my heart was broken, as was the case
    more often than not during my turbulent teenage years–
    actually . . . (who am i kidding). as is my case, always

    it was summer, and the monsoon rain coming down
    released the rich scent of piñon and creosote into the foggy air
    i parked my car off a side road leading to Signal Peak

    lightning and thunder partnered in a close and fast dance
    and the idea drifted into my forlorn and dramatic soul
    that death by lightning would be a poetic solution for suffering

    selfish, certainly, but then broken hearts spotlight our vanity
    (temporarily, anyways) and at that moment, the pine trees
    did not seem to protest a self-absorbed sacrifice on their turf

    i took off my shoes, feeling the prickly needles underfoot and
    spread my arms wide, face upward. and i waited. and waited. until,
    rejected by boy, forest, and lightning, i surrendered and drove home

  3. claudsy

    Call Him Black Jack

    He’d stood in his corner for nigh on fifty years,
    A tall specimen of strength and endurance,
    Weathering storms that stripped others of all they owned,
    Though he barely noticed a slight breeze passing by.

    Many had come to him through those long years,
    Children would climb up his body to look him in the eye.
    Other’s sat quietly, speaking of their loneliness or dreams,
    While never asking for his opinion or his approval.

    She came, placed her hand on his side, and breathed deep.
    On a sigh she whispered, “Hello, Black Jack. You’re still here.”
    She patted him, laying her head on his bare skin, and relaxed.
    “I see you’re still vigorous, with many children,” she whispered.

    The woman saw thousands of acorns scattered at her feet,
    She’d planted Jack to chronicle a family history,
    One woven of love and promise, care and hope eternal.
    Now history returned, only one left to remember this oak tree.

  4. claudsy

    Love this prompt.

    Within the Hollow

    Peepers call across sun-dappled greens,
    Tiny echoes of lives spent unseen in trees.
    A brook, shallow and meandering,
    Carries a fallen leaf on a journey through

    Villages of mushroom houses, where
    Does dwell toads and skinks, diminutive folk who
    Reap the bounty from forest caches.
    Sweet treasures Nature provides for food.

    Ancient trees soar above, granting peeks.
    Sky clouds act as shutters on God’s camera,
    Dimming or brightening as needs be,
    To see small creatures and life’s minor doings.

    Green fosters cool breezes, teasing all
    With tickles of scent, moisture, and sound,
    Making calm for growing peace among
    Those who walk here to meet with God.

  5. Lana Walker

    “TREE”

    That was the name
    they called me.
    Tree.

    Just because I was
    thin as a rail.
    But…

    That did not make
    sense to me.
    Because…

    A tree is big and
    strong and a
    giver of life.

    So…
    thank you.

  6. Domino

    Maybe Just Too Much Imagination

    I must’ve been dreaming but I’ve never
    really been able to convince myself
    that I was. I woke early (so unchar-
    acteristically, for me anyway,
    I, of the all night-book reading jags) and
    feeling restless, decided to get up.

    I’d heard a sound, I thought, a horn? Not a
    car horn, but the kind maybe Susan, from
    Narnia, would have. The sun was just up.
    The dew was thick, this was the Pacific
    Northwest, and there was a light mist rising
    from the ground, tracing the world with silver,
    misty distance indistinct and dreamy.

    I stood on the step of the little gray
    travel trailer that was grandma’s guest house,
    enthralled by the magical lovely world.

    I heard a sound, a horse’s chuff, and looked
    to the left, wondering if the neighbor’s
    horse had escaped his yard again to steal
    apples. But in the little woods down the
    hill from grandma’s house, was a man on a
    horse, who seemed clothed in the mist. He was just
    far enough away that I couldn’t see
    many details. He sat astride, his horse
    impatient, his head curiously turned.

    The blackberry vines stood in the way, a
    bramble fortress, but I could swear I
    armor gleaming under his dark clothing.
    Or maybe the gleam was just gathered dew
    shining in the new sunlight. I could swear
    his ears were faerie pointed, his smile, sly.

    We both stood so until his eager horse
    pulled away and the two of them vanished
    into the woods leaving me spellbound and
    wondering if I’d just had a brush with
    the Fey.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  7. Domino

    Just One More

    It used to be
    the foresters
    tended the forest.

    The took trees
    selectively
    to ensure the forest
    would remain
    intact.

    But lumberjacks,
    doing a job
    for corporations
    feeding the need,
    humanities greed
    for toilet paper
    and copy paper
    and paper towels
    and paper plates
    and paper,
    paper,
    paper,
    clear-cut the forests
    leaving nothing
    but shattered
    earth and maybe
    a single
    tree.

    (http://www.jokeroo.com/pictures/nature/deforestation-leaves-one-tree-behind.html)

    Diana Terrill Clark

  8. posmic

    Redbud

    Haze
    on either side
    of the car

    purple-pink,
    a smoke
    of flowers.

    It hurts
    your eyes.

    Blossoms
    burst
    through the
    skin, erupt
    like fireworks
    from branch,
    from trunk,

    as if the tree
    is so eager
    for spring,
    it can’t stop
    to make stems.

    We can’t stop,
    either, to look
    at it; we have
    other beautiful
    things to see,
    down the road.

    If we come back
    this way in a week,
    we’ll look again
    for bonsai-perfect
    bends, angles
    toward the sun,

    which drives time
    forward, always
    removes flowers,
    no matter how

    we wish they could stay.

  9. DanielAri

    NIGHT IN THE FOREST

    and I got RIFed from a construction gig near Fresno
    after only three weeks, so I was again without work,
    mad as a bee in forced retirement. I must have driven
    east because I found myself in the trees, not wholly
    sober. Ashamed, I threw the half-empty vodka bottle
    out the window, then juddered my truck to a fast stop
    on the shoulder feeling more ashamed now that I
    compounded drunk driving with littering. I got out
    and went to find the bottle. The light was starting
    to fail, and the ground cover whirled in dim shapes,
    the face of the earth looking at me. Then a shack
    was there, not much larger than an outhouse, with
    the door hanging open a crack. The darkness around
    the door was utter, and it terrified me, but I called
    ahead. “Hello? Anybody home?” I opened the door
    and my eyes settled into the one room: bare but for
    a wooden bed frame and a wooden chair. Inside,
    I sat on the bed and looked at the chair as the door
    swung to. Soon I could not see the chair. My rage
    flooded the space floor to ceiling—but did not stay
    for a new flood from the deepest blue of my life
    displaced anger’s color, drowning my body there—
    and then an old freshness I had not noticed before
    sprung out of me, filling the room in the fern green
    proof that because I was breathing I was alive.
    This light show went on, oscillating washes of color
    suffocating, bathing and birthing me until there was
    no me left—so my body stood up to go. At the door
    I said “See you.” Found my truck. Never found the
    bottle. Couple days later, found a new job to hate.

    FangO
    .
    .
    (*RIF = “reduction in force.” RIFed means getting laid off.)

  10. Joseph Harker

    Vipākaphala II
    (shadorma)

    These gardens
    drew me in, planted
    thick with boys
    and beauties,
    tulip-fingered tanglewood
    brimming with stories.

    But I won’t
    find a way out now:
    one thorned wall,
    serpentine,
    runs nel terzo del cammin’
    and binds me with weeds.

    I’ve learned of
    sowing and reaping
    underneath
    canopies.
    Anything else to believe,
    I’ve had to give up.

    Sakura 2012
    (sestina)

    My mother and I have this April tradition,
    where we drive the cherry-lined avenue, roll down
    car windows and let the confetti blow in: pink
    wax featherdown, Icarene scraps to catch in fists
    for good fortune. I counted once: five hundred trees,
    give or take– but mostly give, spill onto the road.

    And when I think of all the afternoons we rode
    the length of beauty, a Japanese tradition
    springs to mind: where you stand among the cherry trees
    bursting their blooms, shedding all they have. They cast down
    charity by the armful, they open their fists
    for us to gather beauty. Which is light, dyed pink.

    There is a lesson on the underside of each pink
    sunflake, about impermanence, end of the road
    and dissolution. You can fight it with raised fists,
    howling with your last breath: that is tradition,
    for some. But in the end, you find yourself laid down
    under the earth you stood on, rooted there with trees.

    Last year, the preachers stapled flyers on the trees
    about the world coming to an end. No more pink
    fingered dawns, no more bloodstone when the sun goes down.
    The cherries came and went; the End did not. We rowed
    across the new year. We have a long tradition
    of apocalypse, delayed. We clench our rough fists.

    What would we do, without something to pound our fists
    against? Now they quote the Maya, clear copal trees
    to reach step pyramids, looking for traditions
    of calendars reaching zero carved in pink,
    eternal stone. They sagely say, we’re on the road
    to destruction. This is wisdom we’re handed down.

    I don’t follow doomsday. There’s enough going down
    in life to think about: you have to use your fists,
    use your head, keep them clear. There’s a bend in the road,
    which I forget each year. But the best cherries, trees
    going nova, are waiting there, rioting pink
    and passion. What will be my last extradition?

    Only this: among the cut-down trees, petal-bare,
    me and mine, fists clasped. We skipped the pink, this April:
    my tradition now is, just keep walking that road.

  11. Buddah Moskowitz

    Auto-Pruning the Family Tree

    My family tree
    started with Juan and Trini,
    my grandparents
    who came from
    Mexico.

    They had ten kids,
    who in turn,
    added 23 branches
    to the family tree,
    and many of these
    sprouted branches of their own,
    beautiful and strong
    all through Los Angeles
    county.

    Except for me
    and my brothers:

    no kids.

    My father used to say
    “you can’t miss
    what you never had,”

    but I think my Mom
    probably would have liked
    grandchildren,
    reaching past
    the barrier of the unknown,
    outlasting her.

    But, Mom,
    you showed us
    what it took to be good,
    self-sacrificing parents,
    and it didn’t look
    so appealing.

    You never bought yourself
    anything nice.
    You didn’t have
    any outside interests
    of your own.
    You never
    went on vacation.

    I wish you could’ve
    enjoyed raising us
    more than you let on.

    Perhaps, then
    I wouldn’t feel
    so perpetually
    guilty

    about being
    being a nuisance
    a bother,
    a burden
    to someone,

    and maybe then,

    you’d
    have grandchildren.

  12. De Jackson

    Mama’s Song

    Do you see me? I am oak, standing tall and strong
    and waiting for you, lifting limbs to heaven for your
    safety, wisdom. As you try out your still wet wings,
    I stay, and pray for thick skin, soft hearts in a world
    that gets things backwards and moves things forward
    too quickly. Maple will beckon, sticky and sweet; elm
    will offer her arms, and alms. Willow will give you a
    place to wander, wonder, wallow, weep. But I will keep
    your center safe. I am the forest you will hide in when
    the wolves come. I am the shade to battle the shadows.
    I am the boughs you will climb to draw closer to the
    Son. Do you hear me? Perhaps not yet; these whispered
    leaves are meant for other seasons. Soar now. I will wait.

    1. Joseph Harker

      Besides the wonderful sounds and images that fill this, there is always something touching about the person willing to give up so much so others can rise further. The (wooden, living) shoulders willing to be stood upon are always the strongest.

  13. cam45237

    Weeping Willows

    You have to look up
    When you walk down this Savannah Street
    To see the weeping willows arcing over
    Tangled and entwined they merge,
    Their branches leaning, longing toward each other
    Their leaves on one side silver
    The other glows a sun-drunk green.

    If you only look from side to side
    You’ll only see the tar and chain-link fences
    Starving dogs and shattered windows
    Scattered glass and cans, doors scarred with slurs

    And if you only look ahead
    You’ll only see extreme
    And in the distance
    A single street sign pointing
    The way out

    But if I could find some old abandoned cardboard
    I’d build the simplest frame
    Devote my days
    To looking up,
    The dry dust of my nature cleansed and watered with their shimmered tears.

  14. uneven steven

    Tree

    Board,
    a plank,
    a tool but more likely
    the handle of a tool,
    a hammer,
    the cannibalistic ax,
    mostly dead
    structural
    support
    for the thin, sappy
    1%,
    its green skin under
    a rough bark
    feeding tendril clones,
    those leafy solar collectors
    reaching for a sun
    to out shade the
    competition
    until
    the inevitable cold snap,
    a downturn too extreme
    threatening to burst those cells
    of perpetual growth-
    the showy fall all gold
    leaving
    the mostly dead
    99%
    on life support
    swaying, dreaming
    in the newly opened
    landscape
    of eternal, brittle
    spring –
    this
    board,
    a plank,
    a tool but more likely
    the handle of a tool,
    a hammer,
    the cannibalistic ax.

  15. lady maggie

       
    A Sapling’s Sonnet
       
          Without the silhouette of your design
          extending through the dark across the lake
          to take his shore as yours, he’d never make
          your branches to his stormy skies incline.
       
          Without the potion of your root and vine
          imbuing wind and soil, he’d never wake
          beneath your canopy, but rather take
          his place beneath your quiet forest shrine.
       
          I see my way.   Both in and through.   And out.
          What’s unknown grows to what we will believe
          as sure as oaks from smallest acorns sprout,
          tomorrow with today’s past lives to weave.
          To weave.   Yes, that I’ll also see about
          to give breath to all earth and sky conceive.
       
       
       

  16. Andrew Kreider

    With apologies to a great man

    It’s no use. No matter how hard I try
    I just can’t see why people like this book
    I mean, I know that Shel was a great man,
    and all, but as far as I’m concerned,
    The Giving Tree’s an abomination.

    Whenever my grandma read me this book.
    the room would crackle with self-righteous pain.
    Her sad eyes would well up, reminding me
    of what she had sacrificed for my sake,
    all the while hinting this was my fate, too.

    My heart would bounce between guilt and loathing:
    I didn’t know which one I despised more,
    The tree that wouldn’t stand up for herself
    (and please not that the tree is female)
    Or the man who kept coming back for more.

    Talk about a complete lack of boundaries –
    go ahead and chop me down, that’s OK –
    If that tree had just had a therapist,
    maybe she wouldn’t have let herself be
    run over by a narcissistic child.

    My friends, it is high time we took a stand.
    Next time anyone suggests banning books
    in schools, this one should go top of the list.
    You want to have good morals in our kids?
    Then teach them that true love sometimes says NO.

    1. ina

      I totally agree with you – my spouse loves reading this book to the child and I always have to add this ending about how this isn’t how you should let people treat you…

  17. emmajordan

    Walking in the park one afternoon
    photographing the trees
    with thick branches that
    raise their curving arms
    appearing to dance
    twirling in the sun,
    worshiping the creator.
    I happened to glance down
    and saw something
    new
    fascinating
    old
    roots long, thick, gnarled
    snaking under, above, under
    the ground.
    These amazing roots, in places above ground
    had giant knots
    and hollows with rims
    that held
    soil
    moss
    water
    fallen leaves.
    I spend time capturing these
    fabulous
    bulbous
    snaking
    roots
    with my camera
    and wonder
    which ones will I frame
    to add to my collection of
    natural beauty.

  18. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Sunrise bow”

    I come in peace—I come in shame
    escaping want—drowning in should

    needing pause
    inhaling

    SELAH—SELAH
    (a rest in mercy)

    enfold me
    Mighty Oak

    beneath the wings of your boughs
    where I am never alone.

    1. De Jackson

      J.lynn, Selah is one of my favorite words, ever. I absolutely love this. “escaping want – drowning in should”…”needing pause.” Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this amazing piece this morning.

  19. kenaipi

    Out In The Open

    Hand in hand they walked
    Fingers intertwined like brambles.
    Stepping over fallen trees
    While birds played hide and seek in the leafy branches.
    Elbows rubbed as they stole kisses
    Under the dappled sunlight breaking through
    The canopy.

    Eyes teased each other
    As the thigh high ferns grew thicker
    The forest quieter
    More secluded as they
    Wound their way from the road
    Where he’d parked his little two-seater
    Through the old growth forest
    To the hidden cove
    Where they planned to picnic
    And frolic and love
    Out in the secluded open.

    They looked around,
    Listened to the chatter and twitter and buzz,
    And laughed at their alone-ness.
    They knelt down on soft green ferns
    Wrapped in each other
    Hidden
    Out in open

  20. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s other prompt from NaPoWriMo: “Steal” a first line from a favorite poem, or just a random line from any poem, and write another poem based on it. I chose Wislawa Szymborska’s “The Joy of Writing” as my source.

    Doe

    (after Wislawa Szymborska)

    “Why does this written doe bound
    through these written woods?”
    Because she is Joy, and Spring,
    and Innocence, and all the metaphors
    we can attach to her graceful form.
    Because my yard is filled with trees
    early this year in their glory –
    pink dogwood, weeping cherry,
    a blooming apple like a snowstorm.
    Because words are her woods,
    protecting and nourishing her,
    describing her from wet black nose
    to impertinent white tail.
    Because she feeds on images –
    blossoms or bark or tender new leaves.
    Because I found her in my yard
    early one morning, and interrupted
    her grazing, so she loped back into
    the meadow mist and waited
    for me to write of her again.

  21. Gary Glauber

    Lullaby for Forgotten Days

    I honestly can say
    that, upon climbing
    as far and as high as I could manage,
    up to the smaller branches
    that provided breathtaking views
    of the surrounding environs,
    never once did I even consider
    the likelihood of an encounter
    with a cradle rocking, baby and all.
    Breaking boughs, perhaps,
    especially when battling breezes,
    but back then I was young and spry,
    and when I sat high up
    in the tallest of trees,
    I could espy the women off the square
    hanging wet linens up to dry
    with clothespins and patience,
    unaware that soon both would become
    commodities uncommon.

  22. De Jackson

    “Sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.”
                                                                  – Forrest Gump

    Rocks

    She throws them anyway. Lifts these shards, these
    pebbled pieces high and lets them fly. For the men

    who couldn’t see her and the ones who saw too much
    and stayed too long. For the one who saw right through

    her, held her song in his own heart, but was too perfect
    for this earth and left too soon. She swallows the moon

    and flings her marbled shrapnel far and wide until her
    shoulders ache and hands bleed and something deep in

    -side breaks and at last a long low groan rips her ragged
    throat apart. She stones her past to shatter her glass heart.

    1. Joseph Harker

      It took me a second to figure out the connection to the prompt. Which is good: because this is one of the most charged, powerful pieces I’ve seen from you, and the seed of it should be an afterthought. This stands up and stays standing.

  23. Jamal Abboud

    I planted a linden tree

    I planted a linden tree there, where I was born,
    Where I went and found among others fully grown.
    It lived and lushly bloomed the like of me,
    In coldness, praised not, a fruitless flowery tree,
    And the last one for joy in the healthy field,
    I looked and could remember the history I lived,
    Waited at some earth, single, barren and forlorn;
    My years wilted the like of its flowers, scattered
    Among leaves decaying, fading and departing ways
    Away, the verdant dreams are lost on paths of days,
    So I pity you my life in blossom for vain endeavor,
    While I gazed at my elated tree that would ever
    Stray in silence through the noise of blithe fertility
    Through the spirit of time, and a smile that kept pretty
    Essence on earth that passes the wood with care;
    The only weakness nature allowed, sweet and fair.
    Your grey slender boughs I’ll embrace , where I die.
    Among thy flowers, my human clay shall decay and dry.

  24. Marianv

    The Dark Piney Woods

    When you enter this forest
    Keep in mind that the trees have been here
    Much longer than you
    Much longer than your people and all
    Their memories
    Their dreams and legends of times
    Gone by – but always the times of man.

    The trees remember the time of no trees
    The time when the first spindly stem
    Raised its head upward and began to climb
    out of the sucking muck and mosses
    and into the empty air.
    From the tangle of shrubs, brambles and creepers
    And into the pure absence of nothing
    But itself.

    What it had accomplished had already
    been done by the birds,
    Who, nonetheless were grateful
    For the embrace of branches
    And the canopy of needles that remained
    through summers heat to winter storms
    A place to shelter their young
    And hide from predators.

    Look closely at this forest.
    Follow the paths worn by
    Soldiers in pursuit of enemies
    vanishing into the piney thickets
    Ghosts that spy among the branches-
    March, march, march – ghosts filter
    through the trees – seekers of battles
    Lost in memory
    Where only the trees stand guard
    the sun grows dim and far away
    the young trees dream
    of covering the world.

  25. Jane Shlensky

    Maine Fishing Camp, 1987

    Next morning, we sat on the porch
    of our fishing cabin, drinking coffee
    and staring off into dawning thoughts
    that came like birds to feed, fluttering in

    and out. We both thought of Daddy
    in this place, up early and out on the sea
    with his tackle box and rods, coaxing fish
    one at a time. The lobstermen were

    checking morning traps for their catch,
    lifting up and tossing back, their boats like
    crescent shells floating on that silvery mirror,
    the pink of dawn still tinting the world.

    Their swish and plunk made me turn
    my chair to them to rock and gaze.
    But Mama stared straight ahead to
    a singular oak on the lawn, the woods

    cluttered behind it. When she saw
    that I saw it too, she said, “Old growth,”
    like that said it all. When this place
    was built, the woods pushed back

    for lawn, they left this tree to be all
    it could be, shade, ornament, library,
    and it had exceeded their expectations
    surely. Eight men might have reached

    around its trunk, the limbs raised in perfect
    treehood, full, glorious, and thrice the size
    of woods trees. “Any of them,” she says
    pointing toward the forest, “might have

    been like him had they been given room
    to reach.” I think on that until my coffee
    is cold, how potential of every kind lies
    in living things, leading every one

    to become the best of itself or to choose
    otherwise, allowing for luck and grace.
    This old woman beside me whom I love
    knows what she missed, what she gave

    away for others, and whether in her
    estimation, she has stretched sufficient for
    her God. “He might have been lonely all
    these years,” she says with emotion,

    “but just look at him.” I wonder how many
    giant oaks people humanity, crammed into cities,
    slums, overpopulated schools, each single person
    eager to stretch toward the sun, but stunted

    or reshaped by community. She lifts him up,
    this tree, I see it in her eyes, and wonder suddenly
    if all those stunted forest trees take pride in him,
    seeing something of themselves that couldn’t be

    rise up in him. How must it feel to be spectacular
    alone, magnificent on a lawn overlooking the sea?

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Whoops! the last stanza got cut short. It should be what is below. Sorry about that.

      rise up in him. How must it be to see what you
      might have been grow up before you splendid
      on a lawn? And how must it feel to be spectacular
      alone, magnificent on a lawn overlooking the sea?

  26. zevd2001

    GPS
    Consider travelling
    when the world was
    unimproved. You didn’t need
    the equipment. Just intuition,
    imagine Manhattan then,
    walking down a tree-lined
    path as the birds and the squirrels
    being themselves scampered. Say

    you needed someplace to live,
    you borrowing a tall tree,
    maybe two or three, perhaps,
    cut the trunks to size, into lumber,
    gathered up the tools, and built
    the house of your dreams. Across
    the street a forest. Thick
    and deep. Ripe for meditation

    just the place to locate yourself,
    to adjust your mindset. Going
    home was a matter of adjusting
    where you were and
    the universe. No matter what time
    of day it was, you punching the data
    into a computer. The monitor
    showed you where you were headed
    absorbing the information, ready
    to return home, incorporating it
    into your memory . . . Ain’t it good
    to know, all you have to do
    is knock wood, and the trees
    will let you in, ever so politely
    when the urge comes to add
    to your book of knowledge.

    Zev Davis

  27. JanetRuth

    Roots

    To teach a child morality
    With no Base for its stand
    Is like trying to plant a tree
    On shores of shifting sand

    Our eyes behold but half the tree
    Though towering are its reaches
    It is the Base we cannot see
    Securing storm-tossed branches

    The whole of moral law consists
    Not only by instruction
    But by a hidden measuring stick
    That justifies law’s judgment

    How can we teach a child of love
    And yet deny its Giver?
    Love has a Source man cannot prove
    Without a Higher Power

    How can we teach morality
    Or fool-proof absolutes
    And yet ignore the Deity
    That gives the Law its roots?

    As I watch the wind bending the trees I marvel at their strength…
    …the trunk never moves though the branches are thrashed in the gale.
    And yet it is not the trunk which keeps it there. It is the part we cannot see.
    The trees survival depends on the surety of the roots. If the roots are healthy and True the tree will stand.

  28. Kisha

    This is a really rough draft, but I felt the urge to share today 🙂

    Two’s a Party, Three’s a Crowd

    There is no room for poison
    In my all ready complicated forest.

    Diseased branches must be cut
    So that the whole tree may live

    I have troubled the limbs of
    My social network’s tree
    Stripping bark to test its truth
    Placing it in my mouth to
    Taste its texture.

    I have spit out what was bitter.
    I swallowed what was sweet.

    I moved up the trunk to test the leaves;
    Feeling how the bark cuts or
    Caresses my thighs as I shimmy
    To the brink.

    The dead leaves fell,
    They left a blanket of
    Orange and red confetti
    At the roots to be ground
    Into dust

    The dying leaves will fall
    Whether it is as they take their
    Last sip of air or whether
    The wind gives a gentle shove—
    They will fall.

    The living will remain.
    They alone will be allowed to flourish.
    Eventually,
    even they must join the rest,
    But they will be mourned.

    There is just no room for poison
    In my all ready complicated,
    Crowded forest.

    Kisha H.

  29. gtabasso

    The world did not end
    even though we stocked up
    on food and water,
    batteries and ammo,
    but we came to an end.
    We got lost in the woods,
    wandered from the safety
    of a trail, twittering birds
    devouring our breadcrumbs.
    I have lost most of my magic
    feel lost like that day on my horse
    when were were turned around
    at dusk because I trusted him
    to pick his way through fallen trees.
    The storm confused us.
    The ground green like a carpet
    but they were only leaves
    hiding the path
    making us think this ride
    would be our last.

  30. Michael Grove

    Five For
    (A PARALLELOGRAM DE CRYSTALLINE)

    There are five
    centered by gravity
    the world revolves because of and for

    my children
    Spring buds and Summer leaves
    my purpose, their growth, greatest hopes for

    my parents
    deepest roots, strongest trunk
    many blessings to be thankful for

    my soul mate
    the branches and the limbs
    completing me these five I live for.

    By Michael Grove

  31. Mike Bayles

    Weeping Willow and the Oaks

    The weeping willow stands alone
    but bends toward the oaks.
    It whispers to the ground
    it touches
    while touched by the early sun.
    What it mourns
    the oaks may never know
    as they cluster in an impression
    below
    where they keep to themselves
    while the willow whispers a soliloquy
    alone.

  32. Nancy J

    Stolen Calm

    Plucked from the roadside under cover
    of darkness, and spirited away to a new home,
    they awoke among elm and locust, maple and
    spruce. The only firs in the neighborhood, they
    grew side by side, their limbs entwining over the
    years in sibling support until neither could be
    removed without the other. They protect a
    home from blustry winter and wild spring, while
    their cousins stand strong in the windbreak
    along a country road, still reaching to close
    the gap left by a decades old theft.

  33. Nancy J

    An Indoor Forest

    Winter was spring and spring was summer
    and, yet, it is still early April. Air conditioners hum
    and lawnmowers rumble over dandelions and
    violets. Bees and butterflies oblivious of the
    calendar, gorge on lilac and forsythia, never
    asking ‘What month is this? What season?’
    In the house, an entire forest of tiny vegetable plants
    huddles in fiber pots, leaning against the window glass,
    gazing longingly at the garden bed, desperate to feel
    the earth. But, the temperature drops again and thin
    layers of ice cover the bird baths. The indoor forest
    grows, transplanted to larger pots, waiting, waiting.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      There is a very tranquil beauty in this poem…makes one wonder which is better, to be safe inside but contained, or risk the harshness of winter but be exposed to the world. Nice!

  34. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    AN APPLE TREE AND TWO FINCHES

    The apple tree is in blossom outside—
    petals, pink and white with yellow centers, open like a promise.

    Beside them, little green leaves split open the tender branches
    in silence, in exquisite pain, to be the new life of spring.

    I hear the red-headed finch singing, and I look
    through the apple-blossom branches to see him on a telephone wire.

    Maybe he is singing to the lady-finch nested under my roof.
    She is not singing back.

    A black crow flies overhead, cawing.

    The red-headed singer vanishes in a split second.
    He is gone, wings, song, and all.

    There is only blue sky now through the branches
    and the memory of his unanswered love-song.

    The mother-finch in her nest stays and stays,
    waiting for her babies to be born.

    Jane Beal

  35. Michael Grove

    Roots

    The willows wept as they gazed
    down on the frozen rock.
    Their roots grow wide.

    The wind stirred the tall pines
    and whispered the word.
    Their roots grow deep.

    The frozen rock was once
    molten and free flowing.
    So full of life
    but now unable to move.

    By Michael Grove

  36. Beth Rodgers

    FALLEN

    It’s an old adage –
    Misery loves company.
    People embrace their issues
    Much too often
    Reveling in the undue stress
    Cajoling themselves to
    Become hindrances to their own
    Well-being.

    Like a tree falls in the forest
    For no one to hear
    No person can pull one’s sanity
    From the wreckage that is
    The thought process in that moment.

    Clarity becomes a lost cause
    Hidden in a forest of truths
    One tells oneself
    To continue to
    Aggravate
    Pester
    Ensnare oneself
    In pity.

  37. drwasy

    At the edge of the wood

    There is a tree
    at the edge of the wood
    silver-bare bark
    hole-riddled, branches
    twisting toward clouds,
    the only green
    mistletoe hanging
    from highest limbs.

    In the morning
    the thrum of a downy
    woodpecker raps
    against the trunk
    wakes me.

    A storm passes through
    and darkens night
    with cracks and booms.
    In the cleansed day
    the largest limb
    kisses greened meadow.

    In the car
    I wait for my son
    to finish his day.
    When the school liberates
    the children, a rush
    of black and blue, a blur
    of chatter, small panic
    worms under my ribs
    until his gold mane shines.

    ***

    Peace, LindaS-W

  38. MiskMask

    This Old Tree

    … wears its age like ley lines
    that encircle and embrace the centuries
    in rings, corseting the trials
    and tribulations of weather,
    feast and famine,
    young lovers’ initials,
    and screed flames that carve
    character on its tempered face.
    Pitched and bare you await
    your fate: a rocking chair.

  39. JanetRuth

    Mr. Willow

    I never told anyone
    That I gave you a name
    And you always reached for me
    Whenever I came

    As you read my thoughts
    You would nod and sigh
    At night in my bed
    I heard your lullaby

    You would listen patiently
    When no one else would
    And I never doubted
    That you understood

  40. mschied

    Wordsy Glade

    It seems as if I sat
    amidst a forest of words
    ideas streached towards the sky
    willows wept poetic strains
    trailing their dangling participles
    in the shaded pool
    in which I dipped my cup
    thirsty for thought
    “Quoth” the ravenous reader
    literature of the ages
    shelved in oaken cases
    timeless works bestrewn
    amidst the undergrowth
    awaiting discovery by
    an unsuspecting traveler
    in a dappled glade

    Inspired by the work of Joel Robinson
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/joel_r/6833446235/in/photostream

  41. Nancy Posey

    Forest Dreams

    In my dreams, I find myself alone,
    surrounded by trees, and yet
    I don’t know if I’m lost, leaving
    behind a futile trail of breadcrumbs,
    wary of sugar-scented chimney smoke
    of witches wanting to devour me

    or if I’ve returned to my natural state,
    a forest primeval, content to live
    off the land, picking berries, knowing
    without a guidebook which to avoid,
    the deadly but appealing.

    I imagine myself half of a Shakespearean
    pair, running from a father not content
    to let me choose my lover, or a niece
    whose very presence plants false threat
    in the heart of my tyrannical kinsman.
    I will eat by the fire of a band of exiles,
    merry and melancholy men.

    At night I might cavort among the wild
    things, howling at the glimpse of moon
    crosshatched by the branches overhead
    or tremble in dread, bedding down
    like a newborn fawn on a bed of leaves,
    ears straining for the sound of danger,
    my eyes, like eyes of prey, seeing shadows
    shifting their shapes , bared teeth, eyes
    red and fiery against the black of night.

    I wake to the sound of branches, alive
    with new leaves of April, tapping
    against my window, beckoning me
    to slip outside, to climb into the crook
    of her trunk, waiting for the wakeful
    song of morning birds, the coo of doves,
    the taunting chatter of mockingbirds.

  42. Walt Wojtanik

    OPEN LETTER TO A KITE EATING TREE (Redux -Concrete Poem)

                                   Hello tree,
                               Remember me?
                           How could you forget?
                      I’ve been letting you win with
                that    insipid grin. I haven’t bea   ten
            you yet!      I see you’ve grown al   though
        nothing has       flown over you in         7 years.
    You won’t let it.                                   Yeah, I get it…
              you’re hungry and it looks tasty for a nip
                                     or a bite.          B
                                     ut, for th            e
                                      love of l           ittle
                                      red-hair         ed girls
                                      I beg of       you, not to
                                     night! Let   my kite get off
                                    the ground!   It’s just me,
                                     C h a r l i e      Brown.
                                       Excuse           me!
                                       I have a
                                       football
                                       to  kick
                                and a dog to feed!

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