Friday, April 24, 2015


...and the First Prize is awarded for The Best Use of a Tree
Trees Need Not Walk the Earth
                                                                    David Rosenthal
Trees need not walk the earth  
For beauty or for bread; 
Beauty will come to them 
Where they stand. 
Here among the children of the sap
Is no pride of ancestry: 
A birch may wear no less the morning 
Than an oak. 
Here are no heirlooms 
Save those of loveliness,
In which each tree 
Is kingly in its heritage of grace. 
Here is but beauty’s wisdom 
In which all trees are wise. 
Trees need not walk the earth
For beauty or for bread; 
Beauty will come to them 
In the rainbow— 
The sunlight— 
And the lilac-haunted rain;
And bread will come to them 
As beauty came: 
In the rainbow— 
In the sunlight— 
In the rain.

This is the fourth Friday of April – Arbor Day. I found this poem when I went looking for something a little less used than Joyce Kilmer’s Trees.  Trees are magnificent things. Aren’t they?  I’m not what you’d call a regular tree hugger, but I have hugged a tree or two in my time, just out of exuberance and a desire to know what it was like to hug a tree.

A trek through the woods in 1992

I remember my oldest granddaughter, Katie, when she was about three years old, staring up at the trees as we walked the trails in our woods. It was a bright, cold day after a snow fall, and the woods were relatively naked.  As she stood and stared up a tree, her grandfather asked her what she was looking at. She replied with a question something like “how come the trees don’t fall over like pencils?”  She didn’t know about roots. That child had, still does have, an inquiring mind.

Inquiring minds want to know.

I really like the trees where we live now. This part of the Carolinas is a transition area, a zone where trees and plants from both northern and southern climates can mix together – everything from maples, oaks, and poplar to pines, pecans, and palmettos.  I recognize old friends, and get to learn more about the trees new to me. 

Not to mention cypress trees and knees

1 comment:

  1. I also love to stop and look at trees. I have taken so many pictures of them, including cypress trees as in your picture. The poem you selected is also very beautiful.