The Dying Tree (a poem)

>> Sunday, November 15

artwork by ~q-t-r-nevermore

Rarely has one of my poems been abandoned and returned to so many times as this one, mostly because of the stupid meter. Let me know what you think.

The Tree
The tree stood straight and tall and fair,
In youthful days that since have passed.
For if you were to wander there,
You'd see its strength has failed at last.

Its lofty crown of living leaves
That bathed in golden sunshine
Has gone, and now, the forest grieves -
From crumbled stone to clinging vine.

Its bark succumbs to cruel decay.
Its feeble branches weak and frail.
The once fresh sap is old and grey.
Its glowing life now cold and pale.

The tree once sang the song of life
That echoed through the wood,
And taught the songbird and his wife
To sing along as best they could.

The tree now weeps the song of death.
Its mighty branches drooped and bowed.
The wood, now silent, holds its breath,
The ancient trunk is bent and cowed.

A fatal shudder rents root from earth,
The dying tree's great strength has gone,
Rot seeps throughout the tree's wide girth,
Its will has fled to carry on.

A thund'ring crash echoes through
The shaken, trembling wealds,
The forest floor its boughs bestrew.
The ancient tree its life now yields.

As wind and rain and snow and sun
Knead the tree into the earth,
As one life dies, one more’s begun,
The death of one brings another’s birth.

For buried there beneath the leaves,
Where once the tall tree stood,
A tiny shoot, a bud ensheathed,
Grows, and carries on the wood.

~Emily Stevenson

3 comments. Leave a comment.:

Laura Trevey Nov 16, 2009, 10:09:00 AM  

Thanks so much for visiting Emily! Be sure to add a link in your next post, or a picture on your sidebar.

xo Laura

Anonymous,  Apr 10, 2010, 11:36:00 AM  

This poem is so beautiful. I was having a discussion on youtube about reincarnation, and said everything in Nature continues on. he thought not. So, i put into my search dying trees give new life... and found your poem. How lovely to read about the young sappling peeking out, made my eyes shiny.

Caleb and Emily Designs Apr 11, 2010, 1:43:00 PM  

I'm glad my poem touched you so deeply! I don't believe in reincarnation as the Buddhists would define it, but as far as earth's continual cycle of life and death...well THAT I believe in. It's a beautiful thing.

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