Sunday, June 7, 2020

13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT AN OAK

Writers' Pantry #23, and we learn the
story of Joel's Legacy Tree.  In honor
of the Legacy Tree, this is a reprise
of my poem inspired by Wallace Stevens
"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird".
When I see an old tree, I always wonder
about the stories it could tell.  Perhaps
this is the story of an old oak.
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It falls from high,    
small, brown, inconspicuous,    
containing promise of mighty oak 
  
Now a seedling,     
young roots seeking sustenance  
growing strong and tall   
fulfilling destiny      
      
Shield from summer sun.    
Dappled shade 
on cool green grass. 
 
Natives gather beneath.   
Dense leaves provide shelter   
from summer storm    
      
Feathered inhabitants
find welcome homes
and raise voices in song

Now standing sentinel
beside pioneer cabin
amid fresh young dreams.

The child swings
from sturdy limb
happy and secure

In soft rustles of night
a quiet “who who”
of resident owl

Taller still, rooted deep
scarred by time
cloaked in history.

Dressed in colors
glorious red
russet and gold

Now naked in winter winds
limbs akimbo. 
colors pooled below

Stark shadow cast on snow
like tentacles
seeking warmth

Now tinged with green
bursting with life anew
The cycle continues.

15 comments:

  1. I've always love to wonder about the tales that trees tell (to others and to themselves). Does the lovely and warm colors of fall help a tree keep warm in winter? Does the memory of children laughing under its shade help a tree work harder to shoot leaves in spring? Is the song of leaves in the wind the chanting of all those tales? I can see all the faces of the tree in your poem. I love how alive your ink shows it to be.

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    1. Thank you, Magaly. I can see we share an affinity for trees! I think I would perish if I had to live in the desert!

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  2. "scarred by time
    cloaked in history"
    What tales could be told if these old trees could speak? A wonderful read, Beverly

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  3. I always imagine that oak trees (which are not native to Australia) must be very protective. It certainly sounds so from this poem!

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  4. Each vignette superlative. I particularly enjoyed the temporal / seasonal references, including the unspoken acorn and especially the appearance of day birds / night owl.

    Marvelous write. Solid as oak itself.

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    1. Thank you, Ron. You picked up on every nuance I tried to depict.

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  5. I love trees--I loved how these trees act and react to their changing world--Gorgeous write!

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  6. Oh this is glorious Beverly. The title is perfect and the poem is dear to my heart, trees.

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  7. This was splendid to read. I love your expressive self. A positive poem for the day!

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  8. This is absolutely gorgeous! I especially love; "Taller still, rooted deep scarred by time cloaked in history."💝

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  9. Like how you've pictured it through the seasons...

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  10. Trees are beautiful and help us keep alive. I always delight in including trees in my writing too.

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  11. Ode to an oak. It's hopeful and strong. Also gives us oxygen to breath.

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