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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 the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

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