Tag Archives: trees

The Water Oak

22 Nov

My first son and I, both of us long limbed,
just can grasp hands around the rough bosom
of the old water oak out front.  On its south side
large low branches have been removed
and rot makes dark hovels of the collar cuts.
Further up, fractured gray bones jut
desiccated among lithe green leaves.
 
By wind and years once pliant arms succumb,
dropping to the roof or lawn.  And as I gather
for a fire, I pray the long ominous bough
hung with mistletoe to endure over the corner
that is the boys’ room.  This prayer arose
even before the broken top that blew and caught,
hidden, in the last tree my logger father felled.

Prudence demands hiring a company
of men to prune danger hanging from above
though mercy blows extravagant on the breeze
and chainsaws cannot cleave that dominion.
Nearby roots of a younger oak, still growing,
are made known by a crack in the foundation
and a bow in the boys’ north bedroom wall. 

All of us who live within the province of oaks
must contend with the wind, and the creak
of limbs, as we stoop to gather sticks
and broken beauty.  All of us carry
or receive unwelcome news of doom falling
and must permit the reach and roots of trees
to subdue suddenly, or by slow degrees.

Forest by Caleb Eells

11 Jun

Roots as thick as arms
Lots of trees towering high
Rivers running fast

Caleb wrote this haiku for his second grade writing class.  The picture is from a collection he is creating called “different faces.”

Winter Walk

1 Nov

winter-walk-(study)small

The silver paths beneath me rise, they brighten and sustain;
and I, by measured stride, rejoin their whited old refrain.

The snow, like fairest company, this night has come to call
till barren branch and evergreen are heartened by its’ fall.

Till, luminous, the moon reveals the way upon the row
and I, in bright reflection, lose my burdens as I go.

Till boots conceal their little plots of white upon the track
then rise to leave their mark upon the polished silver back.

The silver paths beneath me rise; the night is bright as day;
and I my measured stride release beneath their drift and sway.