Trees in Poetry: Last Breath of a Forest: A Poem
Trees and Humanity
Recently, I read an article which was fascinating but not surprising. A career ranger in Germany proposed that trees have social networks much as human beings do. according to the piece, which appeared in the New York Times, Peter Wohlleben has spent many years caring for trees and believes they communicate with each other. I wasn’t startled because trees are alive, and I know there is still much to learn about the world around us. Indeed, trees and what they symbolize have been a part of human culture in literature for many centuries. I suspect such an occurrence will never die.
The appearance of trees usually denotes some ritualistic event in novels or poetry. A rite of passage, a ceremony, growth and death are just some of the symbolic uses of trees in writing. For example, the Tree of Life in Judeo-Christian religions demonstrates how mankind became separated from God through the introduction of sin. In addition, siblings are sometimes referred to as “branches” in some faiths. Finally, one only need look at ancient texts and beliefs, such as the story of Gilgamesh, to understand the importance of nature and trees in all areas of civilization.
Truthfully, I am glad to be putting down “roots” with my fellow writers on this site. We interact and branch out with ideas like a community, striving to make our neighborhood a little better. For that reason, I thank Yodah, Eric Dirker, Ms. Dora, Sean Dragon, Flourishanyway, and Abwilliams for keeping me motivated with original, informative, and creative material. There are others, of course, such as Mark Tulin, Pamela 99, and Doug West who always have wonderful material to plant on this site.
Without question, all types of trees make up a forest, and all types of people dwell in communities. Maybe the trees speak to each other, as that German ranger believes. But we should occasionally speak for them like in the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, first published in 1971.
Enjoy: Last Breath of a Forest. If you wish, seed this article with comments.
Have you ever taken a stroll in the woods?
Last Breath of a Forest
Waterfalls frail summoning soul subsistence,
Solemn droplets through clay wash my body,
Roots of hair and trees merging ancestors,
River liquid life all planted to seed.
Minstrels trees resolute in their stories,
Foretelling tales environment horror,
Final breath Apocalypse oxygen gone,
Singing carbon dioxide choking dawn.
Afire leaves ominous burned bodies,
Pining away maples, elms, even oaks,
Chopped and cut to the bone spine tough timber,
Forests forays flirting with fertile furs.
Amazon amassed clearing to my yard,
Beneath ancient ash grief firmly planted,
Mississippi misses eye of old Twain,
Willows weaved on my little pillow.
Tire swing in my youth took me to sky,
Oak hold chains spiraling to clouds fluffy,
Woods hugging embrace when death oak slumber.
Pecans rained acid eating the fresh nuts,
Masquerading apples rotten money,
Routes through my skin and gone placid meadows.
I ate red cherry I had read about,
Juicy and crunchy glamorous city,
Digesting plastic trash from filthy branches,
Vomiting up shredded morality.
Timberlands don’t lie shriveling to not,
Underbrush tells all secrets listening,
Debacles carried on rain forests’ winds.
My feet knows the way to the woods and back,
My ears devouring birds’ melodies,
Sweet as the water I smell touching me,
Feeling decay unknowable future.
Ashes grow to ashes through asphalt roads,
Beeches wanting beaches washed in browning sands,
Bushes brushing brambles in exhausting heat,
Ponds puddles now; lakes lacerated limp.
Will children swing so high to atmosphere?
Will construction leave life a reduction?
What will we breathe when oxygen has died?
Maybe replanted again like forests.
What is your favorite kind of tree?
some Interesting Facts about Trees Around the World
For this poem, I used abstract images to draw attention to the importance of trees for our survival. Although many of the original lines came directly from the surrealistic approach of poetry in this work, the real change in our environment is unquestionable over the last century. I also combined my fondness for poetry focused on social justice and ecological concerns in this poem. We cannot thrive without our trees. For that reason, I've included some facts about trees around our planet:
- According to a study, in 2014 Russia had the most trees on planet Earth with over six hundred billion. By contrast, approximately a third of the United states still has forests. About 9% of this land is managed by such governmental agencies as the U.S. Forest Service. Fire suppression, southern large scale tree planting, and changing over marginal lands to woods have helped the forest area in the country increase somewhat.
- The red maple is the most common tree in the United States. But the U.S. has been ranked seventh in loss of old growth woodland. However, the red alder, which is found in dry climates, is often planted to increase the health of soil and it grows quickly. The pine tree is another abundant species around the globe.
- Essentially, we benefit in many ways from trees which is why we have to act responsibly. Wood lands are frequently places for recreation, protected wildlife zones, and production of timber. Forest land is usually loss due to construction of reservoirs and urbanization. Natural disasters, agriculture, and wild fires also claim forest lands. In fact, wildfires covering more than one-hundred thousand acres (mega-fires) are becoming more common.
Forests of the United States – Wikipedia. Retrieved September 3, 2018, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forests_of_the_United_States
Most Common Trees | North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Retrieved September 3, 2018, From: https://swain.ces.ncsu.edu/2009/08/ten-most-common-trees/