The Quiet Root

The glorious tree spreads its canopy, beneath the asure sky

as passing mortals bow, to what is painted on the eye

trunks that stretch their lumbered towers, from ground to unfurled crown

stand proud in Winters nakedness, or dressed in Summers gown


They stand in opposition, to the frailty of other things

entrenched in our perception and the ground from which they spring

massive strength and gentle beauty, a mutual harmony

portraying a composition from staunch autonomy


Its branches journey leisurely, wherever they will to go

leaves of aimless patterns decorate branches that they know

We give such a homage to the splendor that we see

and all the while, the unseen root, gives all to keep the tree


Some men come with glitter which decorates their lives

they occupy and fool and build production for our eyes

Some come in stoic silence, with quiet and deep reserve

Sometimes love is the unseen root, the eye does not observe.

Comments 23 comments

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Oh - that is momentous! You really ARE an earth person, Alan - plus more.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Ah, butterflies are about my garden decorating my flowers with compliment. They bloom well all day through and then! Butterflies - and flowers that reach to imitate their joyfill flight.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I'm still awed by the depth of this poem which imparts so much perception of what really matters and lasts past fleeting trivialities: the staunch root, hidden in the dirt, unseen and seldom even so much as considered, unless perhaps in its quest for nourishment for its tree it happens to interfere with some sewer pipe and cause consternation or encounter some boulder which forces it to the surface; - otherwise just unceremoniously doing its job which makes the difference between the existence or non-existence of all those pretty, pleasant noticeables which inspire and impress viewers and offer them pleasant shade and 'eye candy'.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I learned about roots many years ago. As spring unfolded I watered my flowers to wake them from their winter sleep. A stubborn plant just kept taking water and not cooperating. My wife pulled it up, "Its not asleep, its dead". As it dangled in her flaunting grasp, I could not help but notice, it had no root, just a bunch of stuff hugging the surface and stealing my water.

Thank you so much for the praise of it. It will grow deeper roots from there.(:


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Amazing experience that must have been, Alan. I'm quite visual - tangling with the image of that dratted plant, and wondering how it became such a parasitic thing. ugh. How fortunate that your wife recognized its character and pulled it up so it didn't continue stealing the water.

If my praise gets any deeper roots. . . . :-)


Benson H 4 years ago

All that glitters isn't gold. Great piece.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I have, despite this plant, revived many plants with thoughtful and patient watering. When they do expire, they become quite adamant about being left alone.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I believe that, Alan! You have that 'touch', I'm sure. Possibly that other one might have responded, do you think?

Actually I have five houseplants who are quite persnicherty about receiving their regular attention. I learned how they prefer their drinks - they prefer to be quite thirsty before being quenched, and then with deluges, in the sink where it can run through and drain at first while they select the drops they want to keep. Then they want to be allowed further draining so their roots aren't wading. They hate that. Each has a name - and they sulk if they're not spoken to, respected, complimented on their beauty, thanked for providing oxygen to me, and loved lavishly. For my New Year's decision in 20I0, decided on the living plants instead of the fresh cut flowers I'd kept in the house for about 6 years, which require just about as much work and attention. I never just threw out a whole bouquet, but nursed every blossom along as long as possible - so there were always 'stages' of the bouquets of varying sizes all around the place. George just loved to come down in the morning, settle into his chair in the den and be greeted by a lovely arrangement of fresh flowers! I enjoyed them too - but made a decision and haven't regretted it. The live greenery is a joy too. But he was the real horticulturist here. I tagged along. We had a wonderful veggie garden which we both designed, but he was its maker. I just 'helped'. And pigged out on its produce! I had an herb garden all my own, though.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I suspect a butterfly knows all there is to know about gardening.I have considered a green house off and on for years. My winters would demand a heated one. The cost of such luxury persuades other luxuries to voice their opposition. The squeaky wheel gets oiled first, in this case the opposition always wins claim to my expenditures. Traveling is my current luxury, so I must buy my fruit and vegetables. I am left with flowers. Of course, without them, I would not have butterflies.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

My mother was a true 'green thumb' and always wanted a greenhouse, not so much to keep cold out as to keep humidity in. She even gave me a 'toy' greenhouse as a gift when I was a kid. It was about 1'x2', green painted wooden members framing the scored glass 'walls'. I really tried to grow things in it, but I was never the bona fide green thumb. George always wanted one, too. He could have had it, but it just didn't happen. Our defunct hot tub - still out in the yard - was another possible future greenhouse in his mind. Either that or for deep soil required by asparagus! Our soil is only a couple of inches over rock. For our garden (his Metro-Garden design) we made a shape, 3 ' wide which zig-zagged along a path, bordered by landscape timbers and filled in with a lot of good East Texas loamy soil.

Sometimes it seems like you guys just give up too easily on your choices of expenditures! :-) But I must admit that all I ever wanted to happen to that horrid defunct hottub was removal. It's still there by the way. But I would have loved for him to get the greenhouse. There were a few too many Scottish genes determining his hesitance to please himself, methinks. Same with my Mother.

Flowers are a luxury anyway! :-)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

My mother was a true 'green thumb' and always wanted a greenhouse, not so much to keep cold out as to keep humidity in. She even gave me a 'toy' greenhouse as a gift when I was a kid. It was about 18"x 2'e scored glass 'walls'. I really tried to grow things in it, but I was never the bona fide green thumb. George always wanted one, too. He could have had it, but it just didn't happen. Our defunct hot tub - still out in the yard - was another possible future greenhouse in his mind. Either that or for deep soil required by asparagus! Our soil is only a couple of inches over rock. For our garden (his Metro-Garden design) we made a shape, 3 ' wide which zig-zagged along a path, bordered by landscape timbers and filled in with a lot of good East Texas loamy soil.

Sometimes it seems like you guys just give up too easily on your choices of expenditures! :-) But I must admit that all I ever wanted to happen to that horrid defunct hottub was removal. It's still there by the way. But I would have loved for him to get the greenhouse. There were a few too many Scottish genes determining his hesitance to please himself, methinks. Same with my Mother.

Flowers are a luxury anyway! :-) And you are enriched immeasurably with them and your other real meaningful luxuries.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well the answer to the hot tub is a gallon of gasoline! The green house is another story. We also bring in soil and mend it. We sit on volcanic rock. I've built 100 ft of raised beds and built a 75 ft long rocvk garden that is 8 ft from bottom to top. Flower boxes, planters and 7 apple trees (just leafing in pink) I put in a sprinkler system 3 years ago for my rock garden and a drip sustem for all my beds. Still water all the pots and boxes. I take 1 cruise every year and 1 30 day road trip with the trailer. ! 2 week visit to chicago to see my daughter and Zoe. 3 5 day trips to San jose to see my son and now, Micah has moved to portland, so 5 or 6 3 day trips there. So much for my expenditures; No heated green house.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 4 years ago from Los Angeles

A true, deep root is resilient. It may seem dead; yet, when conditions are favorable, new life will usually spring from it. Roots are tenacious and hold promise.

I really enjoyed this beautiful poem!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Cat! You know I smile at your every visit. You are right about the seemingly dead root. Tenacious is a wonderful description. Thanks for the comment, as always.


empire mike profile image

empire mike 4 years ago from empire, colorado

don't think this could have come at a more emotional time for me. all i can say is my tears say it all, and they thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Amazing, Alan! You've a spacious as well as a well-cared for garden, and well-deserved travels. A green house would be totally justified, IMHO.

The hot tub is right next to the house, though..


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well, you either have to move the house or get some hot tub remover. It works like paint remover but, for hot tubs! You could fill it up with dirt and plant a tree. You could also make a water feature out of it!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi Mike! Your welcome.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you for the unique suggestions. Uh - - The house move is OUT. haha. Don't need a tree there. It wouldn't make an aesthetic water thing. But the hot tub remover sounds perfect! Where do I get some? I just want that tub G-O-N-E.

Actually I've a tentative hot tub remover. My Concern for the St. Augustine their truck would damage and for the fate of two trees directly in front of the tub seem to deter my nudging them to get on with it. Also I'm a reluctant nag or beggar; keep hoping for voluntary action! haha. I'm spoiled and/or independent. Certainly the chemical remover would be less problematicr. If only I had some. . . . . :-)

Mike! I'm so pleased to see you found this special hub! HUgs!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

I will continue for a creative hot tub removal solution.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

(curtseys) Thank you, kind sir!


Whenyingin 23 months ago

I haven't had to do this yet, not until next year but I find I have to take my kids along to buy shoes. Every store size is not the same, so if I buy it solo it often doesn't fit, but that doesn't mean it's any easier. My 2 year old son does not enjoy shioppng and will only get about 1 pair of shoes on before he refuses anymore. So they better be the ones we're planning on taking home lol


Ade 23 months ago

I would say a little both of both. I hate see them get on that bus but I know that they're going to learn which makes me Happy. The kids like the bus rides and tnakilg and playing with their friends, but the school part they hate. Thanks for the chance to win.

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