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Friday, 4 March 2011

The Trees

What if these trees have memories?
What would you say to know that sap
is heavy with the fruits of thought
that leaves alone can understand?

A wood is a monastic place,
its trees provide incessant prayer,
and images of states of grace
are mined by roots and raised to God
in litanies the branches trace -
though when a breeze excites a tree
the prayers are more extempore.

I'm safer here beneath their shade
than any arched or stone arcade;
they will not let the world intrude,
but guard this peace and solitude
and all those constant streams that rise
from spirit earth to spirit skies
to make our intervening space
a pristine, breathing, birthing place.

16 comments:

Arnab Majumdar said...

I know trees have memories. Wood has the strange ability to remember things, even after it has turned into furniture, or shelves, or guitars. Every conversation that you have, every book or antique that you've kept on them, every note that has been played... wood remembers all.

120 Socks said...

This is beautiful Dave, and funny I was just about to post an image I took yesterday of a tree with a poem not in the same league as yours, but sure it is what it is.

Carl said...

Ah. Perfect.

Jim Murdoch said...

A more malevolent view (at least to humans) of sentient trees is presented in the comic Swamp Thing with its ‘Parliament of Trees’. It isn’t any sillier than M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. If trees have memories we certainly have given them a lot to remember.

Lolamouse said...

Gorgeous picture and gorgeous poem. I, too, feel safer within the canopy of trees. I love the flow of your poem. Does it have a specific form?

Helen said...

.. Joyce Kilmer knew! As you do!

Olivia said...

I feel trees teach a lot-
Make one rooted deeply before trying to stand tall..
Keep yourself light and flexible to so we move with the breeze..
Bear fruits but never eat them!
Take the sun- but give shade in return..

Thanks for sharing this awesome poem dedicated to the life- givers of this planet..

Hugs xx

Cloudia said...

Dave, you are a nature mystic!



Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

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Windsmoke. said...

There's nothing like hearing the wind rustling through a forest of trees when out camping. It's a pity we're chopping them down in the name of money and progress :-).

Rachel Fenton said...

Ah, the memory of trees; good thing they don't harbour [arbor] grudges!

I love that one feels safer in the sanctity of a forest than a man made construction.

Isabel Doyle said...

Bare ruin'd choirs where late the sweet birds sang

Dave King said...

Arnab
Welcome friend, and thanks for joining us. My father made golf clubs. He made them by hand for the machines to copy. He used to say much what you are saying in your comment.

120 Socks
Many thanks. I shall be along shortly to see your image.

Carl
If only... thanks for the dream!

Jim
I know the Parliament of Trees, though not well. I think you may have nudged me into looking it up again. A very profound final sentence, if I may say so.

Lolamouse
No, it doesn't have a recogniseable form, I'm afraid. To tell the truth, I rather lost control of the form in the writing. Thanks for your kind remarks.

Helen
Better than, I think!

Olivia
That is a brilliant litany. Worthy of any tree! Thanks for a great response.

Cloudia
There is that in me, I do believe. Yes. Which make you very perceptive.

Windsmoke
I fully agree with you on both counts.

Rachel
Thanks, yes. I think it is true. It certainly is for me. Trees are more reassuring than concrete pillars.

Isabel
Welcome. Good to have you with us. Lovely line. Thanks for it.

Gwei Mui said...

"to make our intervening space
a pristine, breathing, birthing place"

That about sums it up, great piece

potterthompson said...

This is lovely. Especially 'What would you say to know that sap
is heavy with the fruits of thought'
Well done/

jabblog said...

I have to thank Isabel Doyle for giving me your poem. I shall remember 'A wood is a monastic place' - beautiful! It will go into my so-called 'commonplace book.' (actually a reassigned address book)

ds said...

I am reading this for the first time thanks to Isabel Doyle, and I am so glad. It is beautiful. Thank you.