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The Basswoods of Summer ... A Music Poem

Updated on November 5, 2019

The above photo shows the heart-shaped leaves of Basswood trees that once grew near a riverbank not far from my home. Progress has since uprooted them.

(I found this poem, long lost, like the Basswood tree, and re-wrote the verse.)

On the breeze of whispers

Leaves of hearts

Would ripple their songs,

Caroling the in between.

Sunlight ballets

Would dance on veils of green,

Warmly nourishing

The lulling sways.

Again and again

The tender flush came,

Rustling soft,

Soothing us homeward.

Now, only shadows remain.

Silence mourns this memory

Savage-plucked from the earth

With thistle-weed hands.

Seedlings perish

On a sallow breath,

Withered leaves fly blind

Like birds in dust --

Each of us searching,

Flailing the in between

As the wooded turns to stone.

© Copyright by Genna East. All Rights Reserved


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    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      You are one of my very favorite poets; your kind thoughts are special to me. What poems I do write often have a duality of meaning, but I still have much to learn about writing in this art form. Thank you for your support and for sharing. :-)


      Welcome, and thank you for the comment. Good to see you. :-)

      Wayne Barrett

      What nice thing to say...thanks so much for your encouragement, and the vote. :-)

    • wayne barrett profile image

      Wayne Barrett 

      6 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Remarkable work. Voting up.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Lovely Genna.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Just gorgeous Genna--think I will post this one around--

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Rosemay. Yes, we do. I appreciate your visit and kind words.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      8 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Beautiful poem. We lose so much in the name of progress.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Thank you. That is my favorite line. I so appreciate your kind words and sharing…especially since you are one of my favorite poets. :-)


      It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your comments, and I look forward to reading your work as well.

    • ALUR profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I love the lyrics and the way you depict the beauty of nature.

      Esp the line "Sunlight ballets

      Danced on veils of green," how lovely an image.

      You're welcome to read/rate my versatile hubs as well!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      8 years ago from California

      This is such a beautiful write Genna--beautifully crafted---thistle weed hands--I love that line--but there are plenty of wonderful images in this beautiful piece. Sharing a bit of summer with others!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Denise. I know exactly what you mean. It is the purpose behind the deforestation that is often unnecessary. Good to see you.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful, flowing words, Genna. I really enjoyed this and felt the sorrow of how we lose what we disrespect and disregard. I love trees, any tree. It makes me sad when I drive down the road and see the cleared land from the loggers. I can't understand what is so important around my neck of the woods that they need to chop down the trees...except that it happens to be their livelihood. I wouldn't even mind that if they were replanting somewhere else, but they don't.

      Beautiful poem and I loved the imagery it presented. Up/A/B and shared.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi Brenda. Oh, I know exactly what you mean. These particular trees were very special to me. I had no idea they were being uprooted until I drove there one day. It was devastating. So much of what I had experienced was gone. Appreciating nature is the same thing as prayer, isn’t it? Thank you for those moving comments, my friend.


      Hello Arb. It seems that nature is often a central theme to my poetry. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in the country. My father was a research biologist, and he taught me many things about nature and life on this planet. (While outside one day, he said, “This is my church.” ) I do love nature and I still think it has such beauty and mystery we can learn so much from. Thank you for the visit, and for the thoughtful and philosophical comments; it’s always good to see you. :-)

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Thank you! These particular trees did not have to be uprooted, and it was the way in which they were that I found disconcerting. This particular spot was special to me, and I was saddened to see it disappear. Good to see you.


      Hi Martie!

      I don’t think you were selfish; your decision was based on something entirely different from why these particular Basswoods disappeared altogether. I know what you mean by your love of trees; your words in describing this perception are wonderful! Good to see you, and hugs.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      My apologies for being late with my response.


      Thank you!


      I agree; what is progress and what do we sacrifice through what we have lost. Good to see you, and thanks for the comments.


      Thank you for those thoughtful comments and votes. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well! :-)


      We shared the same childhood fun and pastimes. I also grew to love nature, early. Without it, we couldn’t survive; it sustains us on so many levels. Thank you for those nice words. :-)


      Hi Dana. Well, you’re not often speechless, my friend, so I take that as a compliment. Thank you; as always, it’s a pleasure to see you stop by and offer your comments. Be well. :-)

    • arb profile image


      8 years ago from oregon

      Hello Genna! Another spectacular tribute to nature and all that it would say to us. I was not familiar with the Basswoods, but, I am richer from reading your words illustrating how their beauty and being impact your senses. How remarkable that they should bestow so much on hurried lives despite so much inattention. Perhaps such inattention is itself the stone from which we plant our future. Beautiful work Genna, beautiful poetry and a heart that reminds us to stop and talk with nature, less we too, turn to stone.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      8 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Trees are necessary to my well being. I physically hurt to see one cut down or a sapling ripped from the earth. When a tornado came through almost a year ago, all of out old oak trees were uprooted. They were huge, over 200 years old. I still grieve for them. Your beautiful poem honors the trees that God created for so much purpose.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      For some reason I have an intense liking in trees. In my imagination they are intelligent characters well aware of their purpose and meaning to mankind. Doesn't matter what the reasons are why they have to be uprooted, I am always overwhelmed with sadness and will try everything in my power to save them. Yet I've been selfish enough to kill a couple of them because they've interfered with my idea of civilized existence, damaging my house and pool with their vigorous roots and falling leaves in autumn.

      Thought-provoking, beautiful poem, Genna!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Genna, this is so profound. Yes, if we do not care for nature and things that are precious, we will lose out. Wood turns to stone -- all is lost. Great poem and a reminder to us all about how our actions have consequences, not always good.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I‘m not often speechless, but this one is beyond words. Chock full of a wealth of imagery and metaphor in every line. We do miss what we lose. Marvelous poetry. Nature has a best friend in Genna East. Happy Thanksgiving, dear lady.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      They call it progress and I call it killing Mother Nature. How sad to watch such stately trees destroyed for the paving of a parking lot. Once they are destroyed, there is no turning back time to enjoy those wonderful summer days lying under their shade. My childhood was spent swinging, swaying, climbing and resting under large wonderful trees in my grandmothers back yard. Today, all that is left of them are memories.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and beautiful. Great poem. Loved this. Hope your having a great Thanksgiving.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      8 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A lovely, nostalgic piece on what has gone forever. Natural beauty overcome by progress, or is it progress?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What is unseen by concept is seldom seen by content, except by those who wish to use and abuse..........good job Genna

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi Eddy! I just read that comment to me on your hub – thank you! I am so very excited awaiting her arrival. Charlie is an adorable name for a granddaughter, too; but I told my son, Bud, that I might call her Charlotte as well (they are naming her after my mother who we lost to cancer).

      Thank you for your gracious comments about this poem…and I, too, hope we have so many more to share. Hugs.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      “Only now, that I can no longer dance away the truth of it...” What a beautiful sentiment and expression. Thank you! :-)


      I am happy you enjoyed it, and so appreciate your kind thoughts and votes. Have a great day. :-)


      Good morning…it’s so good to see you. What a nice thing to say. :-) Thank you!

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Hi Mike. :-) Your words describe it perfectly. Appreciation of nature is like prayer. I often think of it as the “in between” … that which is so beautiful … these are God’s gifts that we sense but do not fully understand, completely, that which exists between the heaven and the earth. Thank you.


      Thank you Will! This poem is, in a sense, words of Thanksgiving for all that we have and all that we have lost as well, but still keep in our hearts.


      H there Ruby! :-) I’m so pleased you like the poem, my friend. It’s always good to see you.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Enjoy them while you can! I think they will be safe unless they are located near something like a river bank that was replaced by a widened bridge sidewalk for tourism. Thank you for those kind words. Enjoy the day. :-)


      Hi there. Thank you for that lovely comment…it is so appreciated. :-)


      Hello Maya! You are soo perceptive…that is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote thistle weed hands. And you are right about “the in between” as well. Hugs dear friend and thank you.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Sunlight ballets

      Danced on veils of green,

      Warmly nourishing

      The lulling sways;

      Beautiful words Genna and I vote across and share.I also wanted to thank you for your comment on my hub 'The River A Life' and I have left a comment for you in case you haven't checked it. Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.


    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Good morning, dear Sunnie. The thistle weed hands were sharp and rough, with spikes like a power saw. That’s what they used to take the trees down. Thank you for those lovely comments. Hugs. :-)


      Hi there. I’m pleased you enjoyed the poem. Thank you.


      Hello Kash! :-) Thank you so much my friend, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well.

    • Genna East profile imageAUTHOR

      Genna East 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA


      Good morning. Thank you for those nice words. These trees were a favorite of mine, and I was so saddened to see them go. We gain much from progress but often lose something at the same time.


      Hi Bill. Yes, it is very much like that song. Instead of a parking lot, it was an unnecessary, extended concrete sidewalk for a widened bridge. Thank you, and I’m pleased you liked the poem. :-)


      Hello Cardisa. Thank you so much. That was my intent…to relay the beauty that was lost. Good to see you!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this piece. It is lovely and I just want to read it over and over again.

    • LaThing profile image


      8 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Profound poem, Genna! Great message, and beautiful lines. Really enjoyed it! Voting up and awesome.....

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Only now, that I can no longer dance away the truth of it... Thank you

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Genna, This is so lovely. I could feel the loss of the once beautiful Basswood tree. I love your poetry. Thank you...

    • WillStarr profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow! Beautiful!

      Voted up and everything but funny.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      8 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      This is so full of a quiet grace. There is a keen awareness to natures flutter. It was as peaceful as a sacred psalm.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love ‘with thistle weed hands’ -- I identify this with hands that hold buzz saws and rip roots from the soil. And the ‘in between’ that we lose – I think it is the ‘in between’ we don’t recognize. VERY cool poem Genna. You do it every time my friend.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow....I can't say anything, are so romantic. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up and smile :-)


    • Scribenet profile image

      Maggie Griess 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know of a grove of gorgeous Basswood that seems to be safe from this fate for awhile... think I will appreciate them even more having read your poem! Thanks!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great poem and so beautifully written which made it a awesome read !

      Vote up and more !!!

      Have a great Thanksgiving Day !

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      8 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Up and Beautiful, a nostalgic read.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      8 years ago

      Hello Genna,

      I am like Cardisa, I feel a loss of another beautiful tree.

      'Now, only shadows remain.

      Silence mourns the memory

      Savage-plucked from the earth

      With thistle weed hands;"

      Maybe the thistle was put there to keep one from plucking it from the earth.

      You poetry is so wonderful and inviting. Your words flow so lovely on the page. Thank you for sharing.



    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      Wow, this is so beautiful. I feel the loss of something beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      "They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot. "

      Those words from that song are now prophetic in nature.

      Very nicely written my friend. I love to begin my morning with poetry, and you have supplied my needed dose. :)

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      8 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      So many beautiful lines here, "Withered leaves fly blind like birds in dust" is one, as is "On the breeze of whispers..." Really an elegy for something precious, something lost.


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