18/10/2017

TREE - a poem for Friday Fictioneers

TREE

A tree is always there –
immovable,
a living solid friend –
backrest to the solitary reader,
a shelter from sudden rain,
the hollows of its roots
a bed for summer lovers –
perhaps a hundred years
of memories.

You don’t expect
to wake one morning
and find its height
reduced to length,
the secret places
in its roots
indecently exposed,
and the unreachable boughs
sad and defeated
under your caressing hand.

When a tree falls
your whole world rocks
and the child in you
trembles.

It’s like coming downstairs
in the dark night
seeking comfort,
and hearing your father cry.
.......................................................................
On seeing Sandra Crook's photograph of a weeping tree, I immediately thought of this poem which I wrote thirty years ago in 1987, the year a hurricane tore down far too many beautiful trees across the south of England. As we have just had another big storm, it seems appropriate to post it here. And it has the requisite number of words!
You can see other 100 word stories via https://rochellewisoff.com/


32 comments:

  1. Over a million trees apparently were blown over in that storm. Fortunately this week's one was nowhere near as bad.

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    1. We dodged a bullet this time, certainly.

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  2. That last line really ties it up... somehow that would be so unexpected.

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    1. It happened to me, and it was devastating. I was only eight.

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  3. Excellent, particularly that second verse which was as graphic a way of describing the scene of a fallen tree as you could wish for. Well done.

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  4. OMG
    You write a gentle poem about trees, and then thump us with that last stanza

    "It’s like coming downstairs
    in the dark night
    seeking comfort,
    and hearing your father cry."

    Oof, ouch and other appropriate noises.
    That is one potent piece of writing, Lizy.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment in detail, Penny.

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  5. Dear Liz,

    I love the way you compared the falling of a tree to hearing your father cry. Well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  6. This is so beautifully written. The Fishicane of '87 was terrible, happily this latest one is leaving us in peace here in the south east corner - so far!

    Click to read my FriFic!

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    1. So you're in the southeast too? We.ve been lucky this time :)

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  7. Oh, how wonderful this is! So sad and tender and the sentiment of losing a tree and finding your father crying - perfect. Loved this Liz

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  8. Really enjoyed it. Great poem. I loved the last stanza, nearly haunting.
    Scott
    Mine: https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/from-tree-to-shining-tree-friday-fictioneers/

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    1. I still like it thirty years on too. Thanks for commenting, Scott

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  9. This grabbed me. Trees are such powerful creations. And that last line, wow.

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  10. It is shocking - and sad - to see a big tree brought down.

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    1. In 1987 we lost four large chestnuts in our village. Those roots were so sad, although my young son was thrilled to collect a whole carrier bag of conkers.

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  11. effective use of metaphor to bring home a point. well done.

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  12. It is like something immovable and forever has been suddenly wiped out. Though I live in the SW, I was attending an attendance interview at Surrey Uni that year and saw the devastation from the train.

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    1. My husband was in Germany at the time and saw it on the news. Frantic phone calls ensued!

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  13. This is done so beautifully Liz, brought tears to my eyes.

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