Sunday, November 17, 2013

Life of a Tree (Poem)

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.


Hettienne Grobler said...

thank you - I read this poem a few times and admire its evocative imagery!

Kathleen said...

Lovely and wise. And I've got trees on my mind, too.