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I Took The Challenge - The Tree

Updated on June 25, 2014

Almost four years ago now, I took a challenge made by one of the many hubbers on Hubpages: Leni Sands. It was a simple but powerful challenge of writing a poem about a tree. To make it come to life and actually feel what a tree may feel and what they go through during a season of simply standing in one spot. Leni was gracious enough to acknowledge my effort and gave me a nice review. But, even after all these years, I have wondered about that. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. I am always striving to perfect my craft so others can enjoy the fruits of my labors. (Comes right down to it, I thought she was just being gracious. It takes effort and time and a whole lot of patience to put together a poem that one can actually feel. And my effort always bothered me.) After almost four years I sometimes think of that lone tree and what I could have done, or said, or wrote, or dreamed about even, that could have made it even better. So, here I am again. Instead of writing from scratch, I'm going to just revise this one, if its OK with everyone. I do not want to be the type of writer that doesn't practice what they preach. I'm going to do my own copy editing on it. I hope you enjoy. And I hope Leni Sands gives me an honest review and opinion. Be it bad or good. ALL reviews are helpful. ALL.

The Tree

Can I justify a life as old as I?

Began when a seed dropped from the sky.

Can I say my roots were the cause of my life?

For nourishment, pain and strife.

Have I sheltered the poor or infirm?

Sleeping in the shade of my arms.

Can I say the sky above me ever loved me?

When the sky knows everything and nothing.

Have the clouds above ever noticed me below?

Peeking, seeing, knowing everything, yet noticing nothing at all.

The ground below in which I love has ever taught me patience.

Yet patience is a virtue bought by never standing still.

My brothers and sisters before me left to partake in a world in which I now stand all alone.

One lone rod of bark and bone.

Is shelter under my limbs only shelter from the rain?

If so then let the sun always shine, for none can know my pain.

Animals great and small can climb me,

For shelter and comforted abide within me.

Can I say the river at my back ever deposited anything but sand and rocks?

Water of life yet death so much.

Has my skin fed the myriads of life which came to stay a night?

From dawn till dusk, a mouse, a rush, badger, fin, or thrush.

Year after year I shed my tears,

For mulch and winter grass.

The years crawl by in the summers sky

As my rings grow ever faster.

How can I say my life was worth the wait?

When I know I'll never see Heavens Gate.

Was my life worth the frustration, or my life the confusion

When left to stand alone?

Did THE creator ever notice me?

Or was he too busy?

To ever do anything for me?

Can I say or do any of these things and NOT be what I am?

A lone survivor

The one true soul,

Can I say?

Can I say?

Can I?

What am I?

I am ME.

I am only The Tree.


I hope you at least read it all the way through before giving it an honest opinion. This is definitely out of my comfort zone. But isn't that what life is about, trying new things and seeing what comes of it. How will anyone know they're not good at something if they don't try. Even me.


Happy writing.


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    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 3 years ago from UK

      I like the way you have reworked this poem, you might want to try writing about some other innate object's emotions.

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 7 years ago from UK

      I enjoyed that, the story of the life of the tree - it is a bit like a riddle poem 'What am I?' - riddle poems are usually about mundane, concrete objects, they provide an opportunity to write in a poetic genre. Thank you for rising to my challenge. Keep up the good work.