Tag Archives: trees

Haibun – Winter Maneuver

 

Winter  attempts an advance against fall. To one side of the road, a cold snowscape of white-laced grass, two-tone evergreens, ancient gnarled branches softly pillowed with marshmallow, a study in black and white. To the other, fresh grass scattered with the discards of the glowy orange maple, the radiant yellow fingers of the gumball tree, the startling neon red of the burning bushes. Winter is gaining ground against the bounteous color, blotting out the many-hued lawns with pure white primer, heaping icing on the trees’ heads. The trees, still warm and flexible, shake the wet snow from their glorious manes, spattering sidewalk and pedestrian alike with gobs of slush. Dripping sounds off from all sides, in full stereo. Splat. Splat-splat. It was not the sky, but the trees which rained.

 

Ever she dances

Nature’s unconscious graces

Embrace all conflict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Fall

 

When Fall passes by

It brushes some trees on top

Some the bottom

Some the side.

Wherever a leaf has been touched

It quickly spreads.

The torch of Fall

Kindles all.

They go graceful, as nature wills

They go with fire, one last glory

Immolating the world.

There is beauty in destruction

And the trees glow with it.

Filtering sunfire

Into their own shade

Coloring the sidewalks

Rose

Lemon

Baby green

Port.

With a farewell kiss

So light

Too soft for all senses

But sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Bur Oak

 

Sorry I haven’t been too responsive lately. Things have gotten busy!

 


 

Today two friends and I cycled out to the Bur Oak

Locally celebrated as the oldest tree around.

We rested in its shade

Picnicked

Painted.

A frail old man with a cane arrived

Guided by a woman and a little boy.

It was evident his family adored him.

They spoke eagerly about what to show him next.

The old man saw my friend painting and was pleased.

He had gone to art school.

He was very honorable, soft spoken, knowledgeable and kind.

After they left,

Three carfuls of Chinese students showed up.

Amidst the clamor one of them said, without irony,

“It’s so peaceful!”

We got to talking.

Before we knew it

A beautiful slight thirty something woman

Was leading us all in a Tai Chi exercise.

She taught us Chinese words as we followed her movements.

Four motorcyclists arrived

In matching Harley Davidson jackets.

They found a spot amongst the roots

And made brash, cheerful gossip.

 

Of these very different people

Every one was here to see the tree.

Some casually leaned against it.

Some circled it.

Some squealed for a picture with it.

Some hugged it.

Some climbed among its roots.

Some solemnly sat and revered it.

 

How many people

Has this tree seen come and go?

What does time even mean

To something so ancient?

For most of its life

It had little significance

Growing up among peers.

Time passed

And all the trees around it fell.

Why did it remain standing?

A farmer’s passing fancy?

A fluke?

Or did it have value even then to someone

Beyond all other trees?

 

Now it takes our human adoration

Our traffic

Our abuse

All our attentions, for better or worse

And still it stands

Breathes

Drinks

Takes sun

Makes acorns

Towers.

 

Trees know something we don’t know.

We play at their ankles like children

Drawn to what they have

But never understanding why.

 

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Trees

I didn’t write anything last night! Narcolepsy won.

So here is another of my old poems.

 


 

I remember the giant old tree

In the courtyard of Trinity college

In Dublin.

It was all gnarls and moss.

It drank hundreds of gallons of water

Which would otherwise have ruined the college’s foundations.

It was clearly alive

A sage of its kind

With character all its own.

I can see how the Britons might fancy

Their trees to have spirits

If they have such trees as that.

 

American trees, Missouri trees especially, are

Young

Scrubby

Sweet

Weak rooted.

American trees don’t know frost or hardship.

They know small things

And think them large.

American trees are children.

They are flexible and joyous and green

And they shake their leaves in laughter

At their wise older cousins.