poem: oak tree

White Oak Tree

In my back yard there is a white oak tree

With a straight trunk perhaps twenty inches

In diameter and twenty feet tall before

Its branches multiply to the sky.

We talk many a summer afternoon.

We are perhaps about the same age,

Sixty going on seventy.

There is little doubt He

Will outlive me and enjoy

Many more seasons and summer afternoons.

No one who will own this land

Will be fool enough

To cut you down.

I can see your beautiful lumber

And the hundred and fifty clear board feet,

But I would sooner cut my throat

As cut you down.

And I know about cutting trees

Having earned my livelihood

As a cabinetmaker.

We talk of sun, leaves and stretching

To the sun and sky.

Life is good when given half a chance.

I think of starvation, disease, famine and death,

And thank God that I have the chance to watch

The tall, straight oak perhaps grow another

Twenty or so years.

I am happy to think You

Might live a couple of hundred more years,

At least that is my sincere wish.

Remember me when I have become soil

Beneath your roots and You

Have tripled in girth as You reach to the sky.

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Comments 13 comments

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

lovely poem and a very nice tree too-- thanks Barranca


barranca profile image

barranca 5 years ago Author

Hi Robie, Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for being the first to say so!


GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

Good poem! You have the right attitude. If trees could talk what tales they would tell.


barranca profile image

barranca 5 years ago Author

Hi GNelson, Sometimes I think they do but we just don't listen? Thanks for reading.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem.


barranca profile image

barranca 5 years ago Author

Hi Hello, Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.


Multiman 5 years ago

Great meditative poem about trees and our own lives and worth. Enjoyed it and voting it up.


barranca profile image

barranca 5 years ago Author

Every year I am more in love with trees. Thanks for your appreciative comment.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago

We have a slightly smaller oak in our back yard that has grown from an acorn planted by our children perhaps 30 years ago. Beautiful poem.


barranca profile image

barranca 5 years ago Author

Gracias Hermano.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Lovely piece! I enjoyed your relationship with the tree


barranca profile image

barranca 4 years ago Author

Thanks, Audrey. I feel more and more tree-like these days.


shradhdha 3 years ago

veru nice poems..i like it..!!

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