Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Tree(s)

Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background (1889), Vincent van Gogh

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Tree(s)

Tree(s): What was/is a tree to you?  
Is there one you miss or wish to meet someday?

Find a way to answer in a poem.

I illustrated this prompt with a selection of Vincent van Gogh's  paintings of trees. Feel free to write to paintings and photographs--but provide a link to your source if you do.

Trees and Undergrowth (1887), Vincent van Gogh

     Here's a poem you may know: 


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
                                        Source: Poetry (August 1913).

Pink peach trees ("Souvenir de Mauve"), Vincent van Gogh (1888)
O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond,
have you forgotten the little chile, like the birds that have
nested in your branches and left you?
Do you not remember how he sat at the window and wondered at
the tangle of your roots and plunged underground?
The women would come to fill their jars in the pond, and your
huge black shadow would wriggle on the water like sleep struggling
to wake up.
Sunlight danced on the ripples like restless tiny shuttles
weaving golden tapestry.
Two ducks swam by the weedy margin above their shadows, and
the child would sit still and think.
He longed to be the wind and blow through your resting
branches, to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water,
to be a bird and perch on your topmost twig, and to float like
those ducks among the weeds and shadows.

Undergrowth with Two Figures (1890),  Vincent van Gogh
White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began
I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white fog
didn't stir; the leaves of my brothers remained outstretched, unmoving.
Yet the rippling drew nearer – and then my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips were drying and curling.
Yet I was not afraid, only deeply alert.
I was the first to see him, for I grew out on the
pasture slope, beyond the forest.

. . . .   (Read the rest HERE at All Poetry.)

Cypresses (1889), Vincent van Gogh

For those who are new here:  
  1. Post your Tree poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. If you use a picture include its link.  
  3. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  4. Leave a comment here.
  5. Visit and comment on our poems.

(Next week's Midweek Motif is One Day in a life ...)

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  1. Good Morning, Poets United and Guests!
    I'm heading out to Physical Therapy and the dentist, so won't start feasting on your poems until afternoon. Have a fine day.

  2. Thank you for the tree-licious prompt...apologies if I don't get around to posts and replies as quickly as normal..still appreciate all your feedback..

    1. It's a joy to read your unique poems every week, Jae Rose.

  3. nice to be under the cool shade of PU again...thank you Susan for the this lovely offer :)

    1. Thanks for pointing out the cool shade of our trees.

  4. Nice to be back to Mid-Week Motif. Lovely prompt, Susan. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for being here, Humbird, wonderful as usual!

  5. I had fun with this Susan - so many great memories of trees.
    Happy Wednesday to each of you!

    1. Great to see you. What a treat you left for us!

  6. I'm dropping in my little offering. Thanks, Susan.

  7. thanks Susan for this prompt..enjoyed it a lot

  8. I love the paintings and poems you posted. Thanks for this prompt.

  9. Hi, I know, I am late this time...but, didn't want to miss this wonderful prompt, Susan. Thanks.

    1. You are not late. No one is late until Saturday! Thanks for posting.

  10. Ha, I am even later than Panchali! But better late than never. I look forward to seeing what others have written.

    1. It's a worthy journal of trees, Ms. Mary. I think you will enjoy it.

  11. Couldn't resist trees, one of my great loves! (But what I came up with is rather strange.)

  12. Thanks for the invite, Susan. I have tons of poems (and love of) trees, but here's this weeks. I'll try to stop by more often!

    1. Good to see you here! (I've been busy lately, but will eventually write that review you suggested.)

  13. Thanks for the wonderful prompt, Susan. Wide range to pick from.
    Mine is up at:


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