Arboreal Lessons

Our tree is not ours, but it
allows us to imagine it
so. It has much to
teach us, each
fall shedding
its skin,

leaving a leaf on step,

which when wet plays

the mirror and so

allows me to see my eyes

on its veins. It minds me.

This tree, with its leaf, speaks to me of creation and its end.

It knows intimately
the wager of letting
go: falling from
branch’s security.

It knows of farewells
and weeping
and the beauty of
ochred red against verdant grace.

It knows that this blue
globe we call home is
ocular: God’s seeing us.

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4 thoughts on “Arboreal Lessons

  1. shoreacres says:

    Isn’t it interesting how everyone becomes more aware of trees during autumn? Of course we love seeing news leaves in spring, and enjoy their shade in summer, but there’s just something about their leaf loss that’s so touching.

    I especially like the way you captured the red/green combination that’s so common, but so rarely noticed among the vibrant yellows, oranges and pure reds. And the poem put me in mind of the way oak trees will leave their own shadow on steps and decks as the tannins leach in. There, too, there’s no leaf in the end: only shadow.

    • agjorgenson says:

      I have to say I most like early fall when the greens are still holding their own against the orange, red and yellows, but then again later fall has its own delights. And as for oaks, I think they are an under-appreciated tree in our parts because their colours are not as vibrant, but their leaf shape is poetry in shape, I think.

  2. diannegray says:

    I love the beautiful imagery of ‘letting go’ and ‘farewells’ in this piece Allen – fantastic xxxx

  3. A very touching, viscerally-satisfying poem. Thanks

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