Sunday, September 5, 2010

Community Poem IX: Nine Ways of Looking at a Tree

Nine Ways of Looking at a Tree
by the Community.


Tree laden with snow,
Heavy and silent
A little redbird sings.


Your breath whispers to the tree
to dance for my longing heart
then I feel your touch
from a fallen red maple leaf.


Beneath my steps I hear
the brittle crack of paper tears.
The leaves in Autumn so colored
by the lament of the tree.


Effortless, exhausted parting
does the tree mourn the fallen leaf
for death, cyclic, gives life.


Snowy tree boughs creak;
Bare and vulnerable.
Whipping winds break and scar
evidence of what once was.
Dormant growth systems
waiting for a brighter day.


Tall trees cast shadows.
No sun left my garden bare.
Cold, no growth, no life.


Stripped bare now,
The tree drives all energy down into the cold ground
To survive the harsh winter.


Wind blows the leaves of the trees
in the direction they don't want to go.
I hate
that damn wind.


I dig a hole for you.
Plant a tree that will blossom
in the Spring.


about this piece.
Written in the style of Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, the community was asked to adopt a minimal style and work the word "tree" into their stanza about grief. You can read more about this poem's instructions here.

about the contributors.
Contributors and their individual stanzas are as follows ANg, alter my world (I), Amy McCarter (II), Jessica Davis (III), Julie Cozens (IV), Rachel (V), Ines (VI), Lynette (VII), Naomi (VIII), and Angie (IX).


  1. So beautiful. I didn't participate in this because I found it too difficult for my poor brain, but the results are just beautiful. x

  2. they work well together, don't they?
    Thank you Angie for doing this, I think it's a great community poem.

    xxoo Ines

  3. I've been anticipating this poem since you announced it and I am so pleased with the outcome! Beautiful! Just amazing.

    Thanks as always for putting this together.

  4. So beautifully written. I wanted to submit but didn't make it on time. The way you put this together is just amazing.

  5. This is so awesome, very powerful.
    I absolutely love it.

  6. I love this. Absolutely beautiful. I love each of the stanzas, each stands in it own right but together they are even more.

  7. Thanks Angie. I really love the anticipation, waiting for the community poems to be published and then seeing the result from all of us.

  8. This is such a lovely result. Thank you for putting it together Angie. It's so nice to be able to take part in something so special.

  9. this is lovely. wonderful job, everyone. xo

  10. I love this poem and am really sorry I missed out on contributing.

  11. I think a really cool mini zine with all the community poems would be cool.


What do you think?