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Trees in Poetry: Last Breath of a Forest: A Poem

Author:

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

We stand and fall like trees.

We stand and fall like trees.

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.

Poll

Taking a walk in the forest can make us recall special moments, especially if there are beautiful scenes.

Taking a walk in the forest can make us recall special moments, especially if there are beautiful scenes.

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.

From beautiful blooms come juicy cherries.

From beautiful blooms come juicy cherries.

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.

We prosper when we remember nature.

We prosper when we remember nature.

Poll

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.
We must use common sense when balancing nature and the needs of humanity.

We must use common sense when balancing nature and the needs of humanity.

Reference

Forests of the United States – Wikipedia. Retrieved September 3, 2018, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forests_of_the_United_States



Comments

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 29, 2020:

Forests don’t only grow on land. An underwater forest of cypress trees off the Gulf of Mexico offers potential medical treatments, including new antibiotics. Indeed, trees help to preserve life. I appreciate the visit.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on December 17, 2019:

Researchers will attempt to apply forensic techniques to slow down illegal logging traffic. According to the World Wildlife Seizures Database, nearly 1/3 of illegally trafficked plants and animals was rosewood. The tree is valuable for furniture, but rosewood trees are also essential for ecosystems where they grow. Hopefully, they are successful when using these techniques to reduce illegal timber traffic. Serious study and science goes on to save our trees, and resources like Science News keeps us up-to-date on breakthroughs and challenges. Your visit is valued and appreciated.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 05, 2019:

Our forests lost an incredible member within the time settlers came to America. That tree was the American chestnut. Nearly wiped out, scientists are trying to bring the tree back to our forests. Perhaps, they will be successful. Thanks for reading.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on January 22, 2019:

Thanks for your kind comment, Bill. I appreciate it. I enjoy the trees around our house. They bring me great comfort.

To a kind, thoughtful, and informative writer,

May your day be peaceful.

Sincerely,

Tim

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 22, 2019:

I walk among the trees daily. I am at home there.

Peace be with you always

bill

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on December 05, 2018:

Thank you for visiting this article and leaving a thoughtful comment, Rinita Sen.

I do believe trees are social because they are living and tend to respond to crisis or fertilize in grouped patterns. Something definitely is there.

They may move, Rinita Sen; I don't doubt that, although we may not be able to detect it. After all, we just recently landed on the moon and visited Mars, but our own backyards are still mysteries.

Much respect and admiration to a gifted and thoughtful author,

Sincerely,

Tim

Rinita Sen on December 05, 2018:

It is a wonderfully written poem. Among various tools used, alliteration seems to be occurring often, and deftly placed.

The topic itself is close to my heart, and it is time it gets close to everyone's heart, otherwise truly one day there'll be no oxygen to breathe.

Do I believe trees have a social network? Yes, I do. I have seen it happening in my own garden. When my plants are placed close together, they grow at a much rapid rate. They also have favorites, as changing the positions affects the growth, too.

I like to think trees can also move around, when no one's looking. That may be my fantasy, but you never know.

Enjoyed reading this today.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 31, 2018:

Hi, Nell,

I just read one of your poetic creations and left you a comment. You are great with poetry as well as the other interesting things you write. I'm deeply impressed.

I've read how your nation lost many trees after the world wars and during those colonial periods. But G.B. is a world class champion who is quickly recovering.

Thanks for visiting my poem, Nell. It means a lot to receive supportive comments from such talented, kind, and thoughtful authors such as yourself.

I've only just begun to read your articles. I can't wait to read more.

Much respect to you and your loved ones,

Tim

Nell Rose from England on October 31, 2018:

I love your tree poem! I actually wrote a tree poem years ago, its on here somewhere, and I won a first prize with it and an anthology. well before the internet that was! lol!

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 30, 2018:

You honor me with your visit, Audrey.

Thank you.

I love your poetic works as well.

I may read them twice because you write moving lines, Audrey.

Much respect and admiration for a sincere and insightful poetic soul,

Sincerely,

Tim

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on October 30, 2018:

Thank you, Tim for this remarkable combination of poetry and facts about my favorite thing - trees! I honor them daily as I walk through the forest which houses my humble home.

Your poetic lines are captivating! Tears filled my eyes as I read each line, sharing your feelings of these magnificent ancestors of ours.

Blessings and peace to you, dear Tim.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 04, 2018:

Thank you, Kshipra Pal,

Trees are such an important part of our existence. I felt the need to honor them.

I'm glad you think I am a fabulous poet. That remark humbles me.

Abstract surrealistic works and their many sublevels of meaning takes a very sensitive soul to tune into.

I am humbled and honored that you decided to read and comment on this poem.

May you always have peace.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

 

Kshipra Pal on October 04, 2018:

Wow!!! Loved the vivid description ! Tim, you are a fabulous poet

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 07, 2018:

Thank you, Ms. Dora. As a constant source of inspiration, your comment means much to me.

Trees are precious.

I had a tree house as a boy, and I would pretend I could look across the world when I was up in that mighty oak. It was fun.

Sometimes, I wonder if the next generation of children will have such rewarding experiences.

Thank you again for taking out some of your valuable time to read this article.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 07, 2018:

Great article. Inspired by the introduction, and the picture you paint of the rich forest, which needs our concern to keep it so. Appreciated the facts. Thanks for putting in the work for your reader's enjoyment.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 06, 2018:

Thank you, Linda.

You are absolutely correct. We live in one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. It's amazing when we take a drive and look around to see construction going up where forests used to be only a few years ago.

Fortunately, where you live, in beautiful Canada, we can still find dense and healthy forests. They are hard to find in this area.

According to some resources, in my state, we only have one "old growth" forest remaining. We have many secondary growth forests. The lumber industry loves the pines down here. But they also do replanting.

Nevertheless, it is sad to watch these forests vanish.

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment.

You expressed the emotion and intent of the work with accuracy and sensitivity.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 05, 2018:

The imagery and ideas in your poem are very interesting, despite the sadness that the poem contains. Though I love all plants, trees have a special majesty. They are very important in our lives, yet we often treat them very badly.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Thanks, Sean.

I appreciate the kind and thoughtful comment.

Love the quote. A wonderful quote from an amazing soul.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on September 05, 2018:

As my beloved Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull have sang

"Songs from the wood make you feel much better."

Trees are our brothers and sisters who prepared this Paradise for us, humans. They always Love us despite our destructive behaviour against them! They still try to keep us alive against our suicidal actions.

My Beloved Brother, your amazing poem made me cry. It's the best tribute to our green family. Thank you with all my Heart and Soul.

And yes, we are a growing community here on this site, and we are connected and we "feed" each other with Light and Love and Positive Thoughts. Thank you, my Brother, for mentioning all these Luminous people and me among them! I am honored. My gift to you, one of my quotes:

"When you feel stressed or anxious, say a prayer or embrace a tree. They both have almost the same wonderful results."

Admiration!

Sean

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Hi, Eric,

As a person who has spent much time with nature, your comment means much to me. Many of your articles always mentioned nature in some form.

You and I were both Boy Scouts, so I know you love forests and the outdoors as much as I do.

Your comment means much to me.

Much respect and admiration,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Thank you, flourishanyway,

Your comment is a treasured gift.

I love the weeping willows, too. They can look like ballerinas.

We have four big ancient healthy oaks in our yard. Now, nothing makes me happier than hearing the squirrels and other animals moving around in the branches. I wondered many times, what could those trees tell me if they could talk?

Your comment is right on target and appreciated.

Thanks again to a talented writer for dropping by.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Lora,

You have a keen eye and ear for hearing the three or four levels of awareness I was trying to communicate on in this surrealistic poem. Not only did you catch the theme, you caught the emotion and experience.

I am humbled by such an outstanding and thoughtful comment from a powerful and potent poet, such as yourself.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Thank you, Threekeys.

Trees could probably tell us things that would make our souls shake and then remind us of how lucky we are to be human. You are right.

Thank you for reading this article and making a kind comment.

Much respect and admiration.

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 05, 2018:

Of course, John Hansen, Abstract surrealistic poetry can read like that Star Wars character when he would speak. That's what makes it interesting to me. Luckily, that character doesn't have an H at the end of his name - you are truly the Yodah of HP.

Usually, I'm more straight forward, but this time, after sitting outside under our pine and oak trees, my inner John Ashbery spoke to me.

Thanks for the comment.

I appreciate you taking your valuable time out to read this composition.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on September 05, 2018:

Thank you for writing this Tim. Trees are perhaps the most important part of any ecosystem on the planet. We need to protect them. I have spent most of the last ten years living in a rural area surrounded by bushland so the flora and fauna are very important to me. The facts you shared are worth a read and the poem is cutting and really highlights the importance of trees. Thank you for the honourable mention too...that's if I am Yodah lol.

threekeys on September 05, 2018:

Tim - I love that you are honouring these silent and stoic members of our lifescape.

Imagine the stories Trees could tell us. Especially those that are a hundred years or older.

Thankyou Tim.

Lora Hollings on September 04, 2018:

This poem not only makes me see the trees and the environmental destruction that we are causing, but I can also feel the life in these great forests and hear the cries as these beautiful trees are dying and if you listen you can hear their warnings…about a future devoid of beauty and a vital connection to our roots, the sacred places of our ancestors and of a childhood filled with wonder for the natural world.

Yes, I remember when I was a child, I would go higher and higher until I could touch the sky on a tree swing.

I would marvel at the size of a tree, its leaves and its branches lifting me up and up. Amazing poem, Tim, that captures the splendor of these miracles of nature who stand as witnesses throughout time to the greed, the profiteers, to the wanton destruction by mankind.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 04, 2018:

I love the concept of trees having a social network. It is also sad, given that we often take out large swaths of them. That’s like trying to wipe a town off the map if it had a human equivalent. Still, I like paper better than plastic because it’s a renewable resource and biodegradable. Yes, I also used to work in the paper industry and had mixed feelings about it. My favorite type of tree has always been the weeping willow for its graceful branches that sway with the wind like a ballerina’s arms dipped down to the floor. I also really enjoy magnolias.

Lovely poem, as it made me think of all the connections of earth’s past and present. All that ever has been is here now, albeit in different forms.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 04, 2018:

Love it