Death at the heart of life

Posted: April 20, 2013 in nature poems

Join us tonight at when we celebrate spring.


Like leaves on trees the race of man is found –
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground.
Another race the following spring supplies:
They fall successive, and successive rise.
(Iliad Book VI)


Bones of the tree claw
at a hard blue sky.
A final visceral act
in this knife cold.
Stripped bare of life,
it savages the air.

This is the tooth and nail.
This is the naked anger,

while all around life threatens to bloom.
Buds begin to soften the frantic scribblings of branches.
Blackbird song urges spring to crest the horizon.

It stands helplessly petrified.
No new life coursing through its arteries.
No coming grace of leafy canopy.

It waits to waste away,
listening to the song of nature.

  1. claudia says:

    oh made my heart ache for the tree…bare and dying amidst the budding and blossoming life around it…tough…

  2. Charleen says:

    naked anger-wow.

  3. Lovely poem, A true threnody for that poor tree…

  4. Grace says:

    Your opening lines are very gripping ~ how sad to waste away, without the blooming of spring ~

  5. Mary says:

    Very sad. It seems I see many such trees as I walk through the woods this time of year. Some didn’t survive the winter. Sigh.

  6. Yes, this is sad, but also beautiful!

  7. Mama Zen says:

    Oh, wow! Brutal and bare. I love it.

  8. Laurie Kolp says:

    A darker side of spring… I like it a lot!

  9. Truedessa says:

    a sadness in the heart for the naked tree…well done.

  10. “This is the naked anger” <- favorite line here. You really bring the trees emotions to life here and it's very intense and sad.

  11. Raw and brought such haunting imagery with the 1st stanza and I loved the 4th – thank you Paul.

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