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Image by Simon Wilkes

Tree Query

The poet explores and analyses the characteristics of a tree that despite being rooted in a spot, offers a haven to the weary and is witness to the ephemeral cycle of life and death.

Am I disagreeable?

I break the horizon,

wrestle the wind,

splatter the rain,

repaint landscapes

with my seasons,

disdain gossip.


I create shade:

natural, organic escapism.

I give my future, so edible,

to growing non-trees.

I offer sanctuary

to birds mammals insects:

Love is a habit.

I give you my flesh

for tools, shelter, art:

I do not anger easily.

I give you my spirit

for warmth energy light:

I am eternal.


Am I ambitious?

From sprout to fall

I unfold, quietly:

It keeps me busy.

I stretch my branches

toward the distant sun,

explore the earth with

my hungry fingertips:

I cannot jump or run:

why bother?


I listen to thoughts of

people around the world,

understand the conversation

of birds,

the philosophy of ants.

I bore Time with my patience,

feel the sun even on a cloudy day,

notice rocks moving on the sly,

watch stars burn out

and reappear.


Are you willing to learn,

or would only an acorn understand?


David Chappell is a retired professor who has jettisoned footnotes to write more freely.  He has published three stories and a poem, which is based on his love of hiking in the woods. 

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