Writing a Tree

Picture an oak, or perhaps an elm,
lush and lofty, but it’s not the tree
that I invite you to see;
it’s the sense of its roots, gnarled
yet secure. It’s the sound of its limbs
caught in the whim of a whistling wind.

Stop for a moment … Catch your breath.
Take a metrical pause in the space
of its shade, or maybe make
a madcap dash through leafy
arcade like young people praising
a sunny day with the pleasure of play.

Take tiptoe steps so quietly, for
you’re never quite sure what you will see
when you are pacing the girth
of a shady old oak tree.
Leaves color Fall trochaically;
come Summer, you might meet a spondee.

Feel the texture of green leaf and stem.
Celebrate the perfection of them.
There in the dawn’s early light
you’ll see the forest primeval
before the blight. With senses so full,
who will think anapest or dactyl?

The sweet scent of a wood rose adrift
on the breeze, the mystical music
of a three part harmony
sung by wind, water and trees,
artwork of spiders glistened with dew;
take it all in, you’ll write a tree too.

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