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Trees:

If the planet
were about to blow up, these trees
would sway as gently.


No wind.
The trees hold
their breath.


Faint breeze.
The trees talk
very slow.


Under the big trees
walk the little people.

Maybe too simple, but for a second, sitting on a bench, watching people pass and trees remain, I was a child again. Well, an even younger one than usual.


Through sweat I look up
from digging in hard red clay.
Trees look back at me.


I'm sitting beneath
a tree. A tree is standing
over a poet.

Odd that we treasure understanding, and not overstanding.


Starlings in the grass
as I near don't stir--
old oak leaves.

The haiku poet's best friend, myopia, led me to see this miracle - starlings in the grass that, as I neared, were transformed into old dead leaves.


The grain of this table top--
intimate inner life
of a tree.


The afternoon sun
picks out a highlight in each leaf,
each pine needle.


Rain outside?
Or wind rattling
the live oak?


Hard live-oak leaves
click like castenets
above swirls of Spanish moss.

These are Florida live oaks. The leaves do click in the wind. They are small, think and sturdy, as if shellacked. The Spanish moss hanging from the branches has a spiral-like structure, but also, in this case, suggests (I hope) the swirling movements of the loose sleeves and skirts of flamenco dancers.


Elms flake off yellow skin,
baring black bone
to the cold mist.

The yellow skin here is the autumn leaves. This poem is a bit to metaphor-heavy to suit Haiku - one of my earlier efforts. Too MUCH effort. But I find it an interesting image.


Dusk. Palms become
their silhouettes
in the burning sky.


Grey day. Trees extend
green tongues to lap up
crumbs of light.


Through the hedge,
a white shimmer--are there ghosts
of trees? Ah, birch!


The trees stand silent
in the hum
of unseen trucks.


Night walk -
I breathe cool autumn air.
Pines secrete darkness.


A potted fig tree
by the bedroom window
gets no respect.

Especially not in a house with cats.


Fallen poplar's
leaves still green. How long before
they find out?

When do these leaves (like the growing toenails of corpses) find out that their tree has been chopped down?


After the string concert,
wind in trees -
the unvarnished truth.

The string concert produces sound by causing (via string) vanished wooden sound boxes to vibrate. That's how violins, cellos, etc., work. The wind in trees makes music by vibrating the unvarnished precurors of stringed instruments.


60-foot-high oak -
how old is that
in human years?


One tree crashes down.
The rest keep tossing their branches
in the sun.


The pear tree swallows
a bird and begins to sing.


Still a few gold leaves
atop that sapling - you'd think
they'd have gone first...

All the other leaves gone. Why would those at the top still be attached? You'd think they'd be the most vulnerable to wind and rain. (Perhaps because they are the newest grown.)


Still visible through
the pear tree's new buds -
an old nest.


Still Cedros Street, but
no cedars on the Latino
side of the tracks.


Brassiere on the bed.
Past the window drift
pear blossoms.


The leaf that returns
to the branch - what if
it's just a leaf?

In haiku, such a leaf usually turns out to have been a butterfly all along.


A branch sways
in no wind for a bird
no longer there.

The branch was stirred to swaying, not by wind, but by a bird's pushing off the branch.


Oak tree rattles with dead leaves
that won't fall off
like grief.


Skinny bald tree trunks,
stalagmites
made of rain.


Vertical lines
of rain and bare saplings
and no birds flying.


Raking last fall's leaves -
a dove circles overhead,
confused.

Must have had Noah's dove in mind - or just a bird wondering if it could already be time to migrate, seeing me raking in spring.


Trees toss in the wind,
cars at the stop light
unswayed.


All these trees
replaced by houses on streets
named Edgewood, Pine Ridge...


Waking in the car
to ocean sounds? wave shadows? -
Elms pass overhead.

Nothing like rows of elms to turn a street into a vaulted green tunnel with their nearly perfect arches.


A tree with red buds,
a red stop sign - almost
the same red...no.


The tree must stand
among its fallen leaves.
Wind would be a kindness.

Considers the tree grieving for its lost leaves, relieved to have them blown away. Probably trees are unsentimental about such things, preferring to recycle the leaves as fertilizer.


Lying on my back --
above me the tall pines
sky dive.

Reverse sky-diving - they dive up into the sky.


Clouds break open,
catching leaf shadows at play
on the car roof.


Trees brilliant
against a dark sky -- where's
the light coming from?

This oddity occurs on days when half the sky is dark, the other clear, and the sun's angle is just so.


Trees moan,
releasing into the wind
their seed.


Orange westward windows,
sun caught falling, flops gold
in black elm net.


The neighbor's pear tree
storm-splintered. They're only
wood.

A tree looks nothing like the boards we build with, but when splintered, insides laid bare, it becomes wood.


Look! Here comes a tree!
PHLOOOP! It opens wide
every which way.

A sped-up-camera view.


Among whirling leaves
droops a green pine --
guilty spectator?

Autumn - the other trees losing their leaves, the pine among them losing none, but drooping - sympathy? Guilt?


The sun's slant
makes every leaf gleam. The street's
having a party.


Yard newly paved
with wet oak leaves,
some on the rug.


Spanish moss
hides the old oak's
bald spots.


Maple so red
I can hear it
through the blinds.


Don't worry about
a thing: I come here often;
all the trees know me.


Tree, aswarm with
reaching tentacles, stands still,
so as not to scare me.


Oak trunk sticks up,
thick-feathered, sinewy neck
of a gray goose.


A bare elm beside
one still in full leaf -- sparrows
swarm, chirping, on both.


The rhythmic nodding
of trees in the rain -- old Jews
davening.

"Davening", a bobbing motion of head and upper body made by observant Jews while reciting prayers, aloud or silently.


Through the leaves,
bits of sky, infinitely
tattered.

Why "infinitely tattered?" I was looking at the complexity of the torn edges of sky, torn by so many leaves, themselves serrated and frayed.


The wind buffets
leafy branches, rearranging
sky lace.


Woodpecker in a tree
so rotten that he hammers
without sound.


From bull-dozed earth
tree roots twist in air,
petrified lightning.


Low winter sun
slips through
tree lace.


Here and there on the hill
live oaks spread their arms
to be scary.

Their "arms" or branches are full of shivery curves of the sort found in fonts used for horror comic titles. They look like kids pretending to be Halloween witches and trying to frighten other kids.


Sugar maple leaves
sun-touched, redder than
the idea of red.


Shadows
smooth the edges
of holes in the trees.


A leaf
straight down fast -- no drift.
Remembered leaves fall slower.


Through wires borne
by a line of dead trees, I
send my voice to you


Wind tossed aspens -
flash of lacy white underthings.
Leaf giggling.

Aspen leaves are paler on their undersides (the sides turned away from the sun).


Imp-enchanted oaks
can speak only in twitters
and chirps.


The big hollow oak
giggles as I pass. From its
cleft base, kids' tennies..

Kids standing up inside the hollow base of a large tree.


Bare branches frame
odd bits of sky –
blue stained-glass.


The clouds break open.
Sunbeams streak up each tree
like squirrels.


Clear fall day -
even the evergreens
want to change.


Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Rain

Wind

Night

Morning

Dusk

Walking

Places

Children

Lovers

Loss and Loneliness and aloneness

Characters

Old Age

Music

A Poet's Life

Cats

Dogs

Beasts

Birds

Insects

Plants

Trees

Telephones and TVs

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Mankind