Sunday, April 5, 2009

King of the hill?

Today's post is a copy of what I wrote over at Pictures, Poetry & Prose. The picture was provided by Brett Trafford and the prompt was: Start or end your writing today with this line... Under the spreading branches...
The picture:

Here is my offering...

I Stand Alone?

I stand alone atop this hill.

I’ve given millions of leaves to the earth over seventy-five years,
But none remain. They’ve all blown away.

I’ve shed tens of thousands of seeds, year after year,
But none have escaped the grazing animals.

I’ve seen thousands of sunrises,
But I never grow tired of them.

What am I? Alone and lonely?

I am a host.

Under my spreading branches
Children have played.

Under my spreading branches
Picnics have been made.

Under my spreading branches
Young have been born.

Under my spreading branches
Old have lain down for the last time.

I am a host,
To man and beast.

I am a host,
To bird and bug.

I am a sight for sore eyes.
I am a reminder of pleasant days.

Beneath my boughs,
Life happens.

Over and over again.

I am a host.


  1. Don that is lovely and I didn't realize that you had another blog.
    Soooo right........Life just has a way of happening doesn't it?
    Off to your other nother blog :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  2. Oh, Don, this is such an honorable tree :o). I really like your words here.

  3. Reggie and Heather,

    Thanks for the comments. Personified trees have struggles with meaning too! ;-)

    I think a good follow-up might be from the sky's point of view (or God's) who helps the tree realize that not only is the tree a host, but a guest as well. (Perhaps the hill might have a thing or two to add.)

    Longevity is somewhat relative.

  4. For some reason, I am drawn to trees like this which stand alone. There is something calming and grounding about them. I like the thoughts and images you cam up with for it.

  5. Don darling dear........have you thought about whether you can join us for Friday Shoot-Outs?
    Please? Pretty please?
    That pathetic begging aside, you know that I'm not going to take no for an answer and will bother and bother you until you join, lol.
    Hit me up with an answer at my blog please do I don't miss it okay?
    And tel Dr. Dolittle I said "Well done girl and please carry on!! Folks like you are few and far between Doc"..... :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  6. Don,
    This is really a wonderful and powerful poem.

  7. Since I am thinking about the crucifixion and the resurrection I imagined the cross as some such sort of tree.

  8. This is absolutely brilliant Don! You are an amazingly gifted writer! Thank you for this and how appropriate for an Easter morning! I am sorry I initially left you off my post yesterday..I tried to get all my men readers and I missed you! You've been added and you are the very essence of a wonderful man! God Bless you and your family! Liss

  9. Deedee and Dennis: Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I'm glad you each found meaning in the images and thoughts portrayed. A good poem means different things to different people, and sometimes different things to one person when life changes.

    cw2smom: Thanks for the compliment. I'm going to "borrow" you post on men in the near future. It's excellent. In a world where men are often maligned, it's nice to see a piece where 1) men are appreciated, and 2) men are challenged. Thanks for such a post.

  10. YAY - I was hoping that you'd win the prize posting for this over at PPP...and you did. It delivers such an honorable message for such a strong looking tree :o). Congrat's, Don.

  11. Just because I want to be the eleventh post... :P

    You didn't start or end it with 'under the spreading branches.'

    *sticks tongue out at Don*

    On the real tip, it's so nice to see how many people admire your writing. Doesn't that feel great? You have such a warm, positive corner of the blogosphere here, something you can really be proud of. :)

  12. Simply Heather: Thanks for the congrats. I didn't know about it until you told me: cool.

    Saphron: You make me smile and smile. I forgot to include the "other" instructions over at PP&P; they go like this, "All prompts beneath the photos are only suggestions. You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire."

    I desired to include the phrase in the context of the piece, not at the beginning or end. Give me a little leeway, and I'll take it!

    Thanks for the compliments on the warmth and positiveness of this blog. When I look at my own "mission statement" regarding this blog (under the heading), I am pleased with the community of readers and fellow writers I've met: you included.

    It's been fun.

  13. It's been a long time since I've read one of your poems and this one is just beautiful. Like the tree, we as humans, are also a host and a guest of this place we call earth. You have an amazing way of looking at things and your insight is very much appreciated.

  14. @Glo: Thanks. As you know, I've enjoyed poetry since high school. One of the things that endeared you to me was your gift of long ago: a collection of Richard Brautigan books/poetry -- hard bound. Ooooo! (I looked him up via Google six months or so ago. He often made me laugh, even if he was often forlorn.)

    I'm glad you liked the poem, and thanks for visiting the blog on your vacation!