That Tree

that treeonce they go unnamed they go to some degree unseen.

George Simmel

The tree takes umbrage

at being known

casually

as that tree

 

where an owl becomes a phantom

in the night’s opera

of loneliness,

 

his cry shattering

the moonlit stillness

 

making splinters

on the casement tremble, our sleep disrupt

with a hunter’s pathos,

 

or that tree

where a hummingbird

blends the glint of plumage

with the color of leaves

 

and you feel

green quiver like cello strings,

 

the heart knowing it hovers

in the youth of something

beautiful and uplifting,

 

or that tree

that fans us as we sit

reading verse and sipping wine,

 

our shadows initialing

its ground with the symbol

for lovers, belonging..

 

And in this evening’s wind,

our tree

shakes loose her lament

but won’t disclose

an identity

or whisper a name — as if

 

I already know

and have called her (this) in passing.

 

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. Dear Wendy

    This struck me as something of a shift in register for you. That might sound a bit dumb, but I really had the sense of something quite new in your voice here.

    I found your opening line “once they go unnamed they go to some degree unseen” arresting, and the poem as a whole atmospheric and poignant.

    Lovely.

    M.

    Like

  2. Wendy,

    The opening quote sets the tone so deftly; the opening stanza amplifies it and defines the path
    of the poem. Your poems always show an empathy as they give voice to the speaker. It is that
    empathy along with your artistic pen that pulls the reader into your poem, turning it into an
    experience. Your poems ‘take me there’.

    The night setting adds a haunting touch, and the evening’s wind adds a frisson of excitement.
    “as if I already know and have called her this in passing”
    Beautiful. The ultimate connection is made. I love it!

    sarah

    Like

  3. Dear Maryse, Mark and Sarah

    Thank all of you so much for reading and commenting on this poem. I deeply appreciate your comments and insight. I was reading an article on how things in nature yearn or need to be named, ( beyond the generic and the botanical/scientific, something more personal or familiar relating to the human experience and perception of the place it exists and how it connects or serves the human observer, inhabitant. And in my own view, trees, flowers bushes that serve as a focal or favorite spot for the owner/visitor, also need a sense of belonging and recognition. Even if it means referring to the tree as “our” or “my”, that infers a sense of respect, belonging, etc. rather than “that” tree.

    Again, thank you all,
    My Best
    Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are indeed tied to our favorite places
    and living things in the natural world.
    It only seems fitting we should name them.

    I especially like these lines:

    “our shadows initialing
    its ground with the symbol
    for lovers, belonging.”

    Very much enjoyed, Dear Wendy.
    take care,
    Kerri

    Like

  5. Hi Francina

    They certainly are! They are guardians of shade, knowledge and bearers of changes in the weather and climate overall. They have a language all their own, I believe. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and reading my work! I deeply appreciate it!

    My Best,
    wendy

    Like

  6. Wendy, love this. When a writer causes a reader to take notice, magic happens. All to often we take everyday wonders for granted. I shall always be reminded (that stump) in my yard was once a beautiful wild cherry tree
    split by a bolt of lightening.

    Like

  7. Hi Dee

    Thanks so much for reading and sharing your wonderful thoughts on this subject/poem!! I deeply appreciate them and especially love your viewpoint here —

    ” shall always be reminded (that stump) in my yard was once a beautiful wild cherry tree
    split by a bolt of lightening.”

    I think there might be a poem emerging there.

    Again thank you!
    Take care
    Wendy

    Like

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