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The Valentine Tree - a Poem for Valentine's Day

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.

— Edgar Allan Poe


Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.

— Robert Frost

I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything.

— Steven Wright

The Valentine Tree

Long ago, atop a hill

There stood a lonesome tree.

Its trunk was thick and straight and strong,

Its boughs a shroud of leaves.

Within its awesome branches

Birds would build their nests.

Protected from both sun and rain,

Travellers stopped to rest.

Men fought wars, and children played

Beneath the shady boughs.

Lovers carved forget me nots,

And exchanged their wedding vows.

Years and decades rolled on by,

The seasons came and went.

The mighty tree still held its place,

Though its trunk grew gnarled and bent.

The tree stood tall through wind and rain

That lashed its leaves and bark.

As bush fires scorched its ancient trunk,

It towered alone and stark.

Then following just one such fire,

The hill looked black and dead.

But pushing through the charred remains,

A small root raised its head.

With Autumn rains the sapling grew,

Now tall and leafy green.

The lonely tree now shared its hill,

Its pleasure could be seen.

The gnarled bowed trunk soon creaked and moaned

Like a waking dinosaur.

Its twisted branches straightened up,

And touched the sky once more.

Do trees know love? We'll never know,

but Sweetheart I love you,

Despite the stresses of our lives,

And pain that you've been through.

I've felt just like that ancient tree,

And know that you have too.

Please let me be your Valentine,

And share my hill with you.


Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.

— William Hazlitt

What is love? The most searched for phrase on Google in 2012. This is a question that has been asked countless times over the years, probably in fact, since time began and Adam and Eve were frollicking in the Garden. Many answer have been given as well and these are quite diverse because there are different types of love.

A number of people in different fields were asked this question and here are some of the answers:

The Physicist: 'Love is Chemistry' "Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in the sense that we have no control over it. But then, that is not so surprising since love is basically chemistry. While lust is a temporary passionate sexual desire involving the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and oestrogen, in true love, or attachment and bonding, the brain can release a whole set of chemicals: pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. "Jim Al-Khalili, theoretical physicist and science writer

The psychotherapist: 'Love has many guises' "Unlike us, the ancients did not lump all the various emotions that we label "love" under the one word. They had several variations, including:Philia a deep but usually non-sexual intimacy between close friends and family members or as a deep bond forged by soldiers fighting side by side in battle. Ludus a playful affection found in fooling around or flirting. Pragma the mature love developed over time between long-term couples and involving goodwill, commitment, compromise and understanding. Agape a more generalised love for all of humanity. Philautia is self love, which isn't as selfish as it sounds. In order to care for others you need to be able to care about yourself. Last, and probably least even though it causes the most trouble, eros is about sexual passion and desire." Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author of Couch Fiction

Love is a passionate commitment.

— The Philosopher

Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.

— Plato

The philosopher: 'Love is a passionate commitment' "The answer remains elusive in part because love is not one thing. Love for parents, partners, children, country, neighbour, God and so on all have different qualities. Each has its variants – blind, one-sided, tragic, steadfast, fickle, reciprocated, misguided, unconditional. At its best, however, all love is a kind a passionate commitment that we nurture and develop, even though it usually arrives in our lives unbidden. That's why it is more than just a powerful feeling. Without the commitment, it is mere infatuation. Without the passion, it is mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die." Julian Baggini, philosopher and writer

The romantic novelist: 'Love drives all great stories' " What love is depends on where you are in relation to it. Secure in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air – you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, a physical pain. Love is the driver for all great stories: not just romantic love, but the love of parent for child, for family, for country. It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love, the obstacles that stand in its way. It is usually at those points that love is everything." Jojo Moyes, two-time winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year award

The nun: 'Love is free yet binds us' "Love is more easily experienced than defined. As a theological virtue, by which we love God above all things and our neighbours as ourselves for his sake, it seems remote until we encounter it enfleshed, so to say, in the life of another – in acts of kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice. Love's the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost dearly. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life's greatest blessing." Catherine Wybourne, Benedictine nun

(source: The Guardian: Australian Edition)

© 2011 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 24, 2018:

Thank you, Chris. Your comment is much appreciated. I thought the recent poem you wrote at The Creative Exiles was wonderful and moving. I hope you do continue to try your hand at more poetry.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on February 24, 2018:

John, you've penned some beautiful imagery here. I loved this verse:

Men fought wars, and children played

Beneath the shady boughs.

Lovers carved forget me nots,

And exchanged their wedding vows.

This makes me want to get out the poet's pen again.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2018:

Thank you, Charmaine. Good to be back and getting more involved again. I appreciate the kind comment.

threekeys on February 11, 2018:

Nice to see you spending sometime over at hubpages, Jodah.

I echo Kenneth's praise-"well written and professional"

Peace and Happiness to You and your Loved Ones.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on February 11, 2018:

Hi, John -- my friend, you are always welcome. Your poem was very intense; well-written and professional. I just want to see more of your tremendous work. Be safe. But don't forget to be happy.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 11, 2018:

Kenneth, thank you so much. It is always a happy moment to see a comment from you on one of my hubs. Thank you for the kind words, and you have a great week.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on February 11, 2018:

Hi, John -- just got here and I have to tell you that THIS piece was genuinely and sincerely Tremendous!

Well-written and went straight to my spirit and heart.

Loved it.

Have a peaceful night.

Keep up the Fantastic Writing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 11, 2018:

Thank you, Glennis, this is one of the very first poems I published on HubPages. I appreciate you reading it and the kind comment.

Glen Rix from UK on February 11, 2018:

A lovely poem. I like the suggestion that what happened to the tree is echoed in the life of the sweetheart to whom the poem is addressed.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 11, 2016:

Hi Cris, glad you enjoyed the Valentine Tree. I hope you get lots of hugs (human and tree) this Valentine's Day. Thank you for reading and the kind comment. Love from the farm.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on February 11, 2016:

Interesting indeed and very timely for Valentine's Day. And yes, trees know love. Take it from a tree hugger (me). They hug me back. :)

Awesome piece Jodah and one that I wouldn't mind re-reading.

Love from the sky~

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2016:

Thank you for reading this swalia. I love your comment.

Shaloo Walia from India on January 27, 2016:

A beautiful poem of love and hope. Loved it!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on December 03, 2015:

Hi Ashley, thanks for reading one of my very first hubs here. It doesn't get a lot of traffic lately, so you have made my day. Glad you enjoyed the Valentine Tree.

Ashly Christen from Illinois on December 03, 2015:

This is so sweet I love it and I love how the life of the tree is tied in with the valentine love. Made me smile!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 03, 2015:

Yes Leptirela. I think I read that you have been at HP for five years, so have I, so I have compiled quite a few hubs in that time (192 I think at last count). Good luck with your reading. :)

Leptirela from I don't know half the time on April 03, 2015:

Its rare that I find myself commenting on more than 2 hubs because I usually pick what I like and also based on how one writes, because your style of writing is so good I just had do flick through a few more, as I said I have a lot to read from you yet. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 03, 2015:

Hi again Leptirela, I can get used to such wonderful comments :)

You are giving some of my older hubs new viewership. It is always pleasing to have your work appreciated. Thanks again.

Leptirela from I don't know half the time on April 02, 2015:

I've felt just like that ancient tree,

And know that you have too.

Please let me be your Valentine,

And share my hill with you."

I love the ending, especially the last line it closes beautifully offering love.

You are so talented. You have ...

(Hmm looking for the word somewhere in my head, I have registered a mental note..this will take a few moments.) Loading ....

"Craftsmanship" . You are a Craftsman Mr :) what you do with words to build such good pieces of writing is amazing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 12, 2014:

Thank you misterhollywood, glad you liked this. I appreciate your comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 12, 2014:

Thank you misterhollywood, glad you liked this. I appreciate your comment.

John Hollywood from Hollywood, CA on June 12, 2014:

I really liked your poem. Congrats on publishing this!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 12, 2014:

Thank you Jamie. You are right "love" isn't the easiest thing to rite about. Most of my love poetry is very personal and most kept just for my wife who I wrote it for. She has given me permission to share some of them which is what I have done here. It is a difficult emotion to capture successfully, but I'm sure if you just write it from the heart the metaphors will flow. Even corny metaphors seem to work in love poetry because true love makes you a little crazy anyway...lol. Thanks for reading and your kind comment.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on June 12, 2014:

In my opinion Love poetry is the hardest to write. I have a hard time finding the metaphors to describe the intense feelings that one feels and how these feelings can lead to new lifetimes. The Valentine Tree is a true love poem, you are able to describe this complex feeling. Thank you. Jamie

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2014:

Thanks Kenneth. I thought about deleting, but they are all like my children so I decided to try and save them first.

Kenneth Avery on April 15, 2014:

Jodah, I need to do that to some of my older hubs. Incidentally, I deleted some very old hubs, some of my earlier ones that were really not worth reading.

That was before I learned from HP what to do and what not to do.

Have a day of happiness.



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2014:

I have refurbished this hub and added a video.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 31, 2013:

Your words are so inspiring Faith. I never had a lot of confidence in my writing ability until recently. All the wonderful encouragement here on Hub Pages, has given me confidence to write more. Thanks again for voting up and sharing.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 31, 2013:

My goodness, Jodah, what a great gift of writing poetry you have indeed! Excellent. I truly loved them all, especially the tree one. What marvelous life tales it could tell us with its long life. Reminded me of when I was younger and we did carve our initials in a tree.

Yes, each poem deserves its own hub, as they are truly amazing and stand on their own.

Up and more and sharing


Faith Reaper

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on October 31, 2013:

I love the "Lulu" and "Christmas" poems; they are very touching and memorable. Please keep 'em coming, Jodah.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on October 29, 2013:

I love when I meet humble writers like you. It blows my mind that you weren't confident about your poetry. Just know from now on, you are gifted. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 29, 2013:

Thank you for visiting my hub DzyMsLizzy,

So glad you enjoyed reading my poetry, especially 'Just A Tramp' which has always been special to me. Thanks for your kind words and for voting up.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 29, 2013:

Wow Linda, what awesome comments. Thank you so much for the praise and encouragement. This was my very first hub so I probably packed too many poems into it. i should have at least made 'Just A Tramp" a separate hub, and I may still do that at some stage. At first I wasn't confident in my ability as a poet but the encouragement of others like you and Nellieanna have changed my outlook.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on October 29, 2013:

Your "Just a Tramp" bit is a real tear-jerker. Very well done, with much feeling, and a poignant word painting.

Voted up and beautiful. All of your work is lovely.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on October 29, 2013:

Jodah-I guess I am dumb struck that you were at one time considering yourself 'not' a poet. These poems are masterpieces-I would have separated these spectacular works as different hubs-as Nellieanna said, they are all so good and all deserve their own comments. You have a gift Jodah and you need to keep sharing it with others. I am completely inspired and moved. Wowsa! thanks so much :-)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on October 01, 2013:

Thank you so much.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2013:

Thanks Kenneth for the praise. I will definitely check out your hub and follow you as well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2013:

Thank you Jaye,

I am overwhelmed by the responses to my work, it was unexpected. It is certainly an encouragement for me to share more of my poetry on here. Thanks for voting me up and I look forward to checking out your hubs as well.

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on September 30, 2013:

Loved every presentation. You are truly gifted. I'm honored to follow you. I dabble in abstract/prose. Check Dangerous Sheep and One Evening at a Dusk.

Happy to read your works.

I'd appreciate you thinking about following me.

God smile on you.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on September 30, 2013:

I do hope you will share some more of your marvelous lyric poetry, Jodah. You will find it appreciated here on HubPages.

The quotes about poetry add so much to the overall hub.

Voted Up, Awesome and Beautiful/Shared



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2013:

Thanks again Sligobay.

I wrote a sequel to Betelgese but seem to have misplaced it at the moment. I was having trouble with the final verse to finish it off. Yes it does sound similar to Beetleguese starring Michael Keeton, I think it is actually the name of a star or planet in a different solar system to our own Glad you like the tramp too.

sligobay from east of the equator on September 30, 2013:

"Oh what a world is Betelgese,

A wondrous place to be.

Fantastic creatures there abound,

The likes you'll never see"

Your imagination is fantastic. You've created a new universe. I must admit that Betelgese sounds like "Beetlegeuse", the strange ghost in the movie by that name if you haven't seen it.

Swarms of miggins flutter

above hills of spoiled butter

churning through fields of flour

loaves of dough made sour; sligobay

These are great poems filled with great concepts. I love your tramp.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 30, 2013:

Hi Tom,

That simple comment "It felt good to sip my coffee this morning and read your hub" means a lot, especially from a writer as accomplished as yourself. I write from the heart, but until recently I haven't shared my poetry with anyone other than my own wife Kathy. Congratulations to you and Tammy on 25 years together.

Tom Cornett from Ohio on September 30, 2013:

These are well written and wonderful works. My wife, Tammy and I have been married 25 years today. It felt good to sip my coffee this morning and read your hub. Thank you. :o)


Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 29, 2013:

Oh, Jodah - it is so exciting to see you bringing out your poetic talent and your very good practical articles. I just love your poetry! You have a lyrical style that is a pleasure to read! Don't worry about length, though you may want to present a long ballad poem singly in its own hub. Also that would allow the readers to more easily comment specifically on it.

I predict that when others catch on to your excellent work you will be very popular here. Besides, your practical articles are exactly what Hubpages is looking for and what they reward. Do not be discouraged! You simply have to invest the time in building your hub site and expanding your connections. You'll see!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 29, 2013:

Thank you Nellieanna was such kind and encouraging words, and also the good advice about moving the comments window. I have finally figured out how to do that...and it's done. I was getting discouraged as my hub hadn't received a comment for two years but now I understand why.

You have just inspired me to add more of my poems. The trouble is a number of them are long ballad types like 'Just A Tramp' and it takes some time to type them. However if i know they are appreciated it makes it worthwhile. I look forward to reading more of your own lovely poetry.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 29, 2013:

Yegads! Each one is so good, it deserves its own comments. I haven't had my morning coffee yet, but I shall return! You are very good!

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on September 29, 2013:

What an inviting, charming, and meaningful hub! It's poetry in the truest sense! (I couldn't resist checking the hub behind that gorgeous tree silhouetted against the sunset!

And now I see, below the comment window, more I must read! I think I'd advise placing the comment capsule at the very end of the actual hub content, jodah - to avoid people missing some of your lovely work! Usually we expect the comment window to be the conclusion of a hub, you see. My comments above were just about the first, The Valentine Tree. Now there isn't time left on this timed comment to mention the others.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 14, 2011:

Thank you for that lovely comment Heather, it means a lot.


HealthyHanna from Utah on February 14, 2011:


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