Tree life (poem)

Drinking. Always, slowly,

A thousand thousand days of the cycles of the earth

Distilled to sweetness,  running in my veins like golden blood

Always slowly drinking

Around my roots the mulch quivers with small scraps of life

As I draw on the deep mustiness of the earth’s secrets

Drinking always. Slowly.

I must be growing old… Earth and air and water…

they do not taste the same

as they did…


I was


This poem was inspired by readwritepoem’s latest prompt – to write a poem from the point of view of a tree. To see what other poets have done with the same prompt, click here.

I wanted to try to capture something of the slowness of a tree’s existence, and its intimate relationship with its environment.


8 responses to “Tree life (poem)

  1. that’s lovely, beautifully shaped

  2. I’m I stopped by, your blog is interesting to me in many ways.



  3. Hi Rose

    I hope the missing word is “glad” or something similar! Assuming it is, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you find it interesting.

  4. I’m thrilled, enthralled, delighted, ecstatic… 😆



  5. even better! 😀

  6. To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this poem. I was expecting its formatting to come across too campy and get in the way of the words. And then I read the poem about 5 times in a row because I enjoyed it so much. It really does work quite nicely! E.E. Cummings-esque without being too imitative or losing its own voice.
    The only thing that seemed incongruous to me was that you used the term “roots” in the fifth line. Any other time the tree refers to itself using human-related (or at least animal-related) concepts such as “veins”, “blood”, and “taste”. But that’s just my tenuous opinion which you didn’t even ask for; and it in no way denigrates this excellent poem!

  7. Hi Blissfromtheabyss

    I know what you mean about shape formatted poems… this one came about because, looking at the lines I’d written, I realised that, using normal alignment, it was already the shape of half a tree (I already knew I wanted the end to trail off slowly and musingly so that gave the “trunk” shape.) Anyway, I wondered what it would look like if I centred it…. made a few minor tweaks, and quite liked the effect. Perhaps the shape works because it arose in this organic (sorry!) way.

    I know what you mean about the word “roots”… I did consider several alternatives (e.g. toes, feet) but they seemed either confusing or cliched! And roots is such a powerful word I think it works well, even if it’s less human than the other words the tree uses to describe itself.

    Glad you liked it, anyway!

  8. I hope my comments didn’t come across as overly critical because I truly enjoyed the poem. The whole thing came together nicely; it just worked.
    Congratulations on the new opportunity in South America btw!

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