Thursday, June 15, 2006

a talking tree {poetry thursday}

i am new to this poetry "thing," reading and writing it. and this is wonderful. yet it is with trepidation i share my own work here. i am taking the baby steps in understanding how to write poetry. lynn has shared some writing exercises with me (that she learned in a poetry workshop with Gary Short) to encourage me to put the pen to paper and find the poet inside. this poem was written from one of these exercises. write a poem in which a noun speaks.

What the Tree Says
after David Swanger

The tree says, "I am a canopy of color and shade
with limbs that reach with each breath. For centuries,
I have stretched my way into the answer. You do not remember
the day you sat below me, predictable as the sun,
pondering as you do now. Though your face is different,

your soul's question is the same.
The wind whispers answers, but the lightning bugs
inside your head are too busy to hear. My roots send
the invitation. The choice to listen for the question
and seek an answer. But I fear,

you will struggle for space and breath,
as a baby bird cracking open in its shell.
This I know because I once sat below the tallest
in this grove; my ego hurried and vast, not knowing
there was a question. The day arrives,

roots appear. Your turn to offer shade and beauty.
Pushing through the decades with each dropping leaf,
clarity finds room to see the question
and the quiet to hear the answer.
How to love. Let go."

Click on over to Poetry Thursday to see what other poetry readers and writers are up to today.