Image Credit: © Brent Bill
Courtesy of Abbey of the Arts
Used with Permission
Life of a Tree
To branch out, the tree must
anticipate obstacles, know
to grow around what gets in
its way of channeling deep,
of pushing out and up, roots
the swift ferries from earth
of the seasonal calls to flower
and leaf, to accept the graft,
or bear the violation of beetle
and borer, of weevil and moth.
The astonishing effort of seed
is never to make a whole twig
extend but to bud from each tip
and get bigger around. Buried
in memories of layers of bark
are the unseen, dormant cells
that wait for the first cuts then
fatten the rings. The dry spells,
a fire, can leave their own scars
on the life of a tree but the heart
-wood stays nearest the center,
support for the core: dark, rich,
intense as the sky in indigo.
© 2013 Maureen E. Doallas
This poem is my response to the Abbey of the Arts's "Invitation to Poetry: The Call to Our True Selves". To participate in today's call, just click on the link and follow the directions.
Brent Bill is a Quaker minister, photographer, and author. His blog is Holy Ordinary: Musings and Photography from a Quaker Perspective. He lives in rural Indiana.