2011 Poetry Theme Challenges

#14 Into The Trees!

Hello Poets;

Call it a wood, copse, wold, weald, holt or frith being in the forest is an enchanting and magical experience. Hardly surprising when this micro ecosystem that is made of mainly trees provides a buffer for our planet, the Earth, and supports a myriad of life. Forests cleanse the air, provide cool shade in hot weather and warm shelter on a cold dark night. So our challenge is to write poems about the forestry worlds - be it fact or fantasy let us capture some of the magic and mystery of the trees.

Lost In The Forest

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
And lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips;
Maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
A cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
Deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
A shout muffled by huge autumns,
By the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
Sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
Climbed up through my conscious mind

As if suddenly the roots, I had left behind
Cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood Ė
And I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

Pablo Neruda

Happy Quilling and Blessings to All


Into The Trees!

Maryse Achong

Poui Me
A Tribute to Alfred Joyce Kilmer's Trees

Divena Collins

Creatures Of Fernwood
Imaginary Friend
Moon Phase Crop Growing
Seasons of the Forest
Tree Hugger
The Voice
Waltz of Flowers
Wolf Song
Wooodland Powers
World Peace

Jem Farmer

Amber Forests
Another Language
Circle In Motion
Crystal Forest
Iris Dreams
Majestic White
Solid Oak
Sylvan Secrets

Ryter Roethicle

On Being In The Woods
Under Drought
Wentworth Falls
Nature - Collins Sequence

Liz Rule

From The Seed Springing
On The Track

Divena Collins

Poui Me

If I could be just any tree
Without a doubt Iíd be a Poui
A golden one with blooms so fair
And hummingbirds caught in my hair.

But when Ďtis time for me to rest
Then I would pick as second best
To be but only for a spell,
A shady, spreading Immortelle.

But if I felt to Ďramajayí,
Take centre stage just for a day,
Then I might choose to show and flaunt
Myself, just like the Flamboyant.

But after all is said and done
If truth be told thereís only one
Tree that Iíd truly want to be
My beautiful tropical Poui.


A Tribute to Alfred Joyce Kilmer's Trees

I know that I shall never be,
As old or graceful as a tree;

For I am just a passing guest
Here on this earth, to do a test.

If I do well, then I just may
See My Creator's Face one day.

I'm all the worse for wear and tear,
No birds to decorate my hair.

I've been deluged by joy and pain,
Been broken and made whole again.

Though fool I am unlike the tree,
That Very God created me.

Divena Collins

Crazy Land of Nod 1

In ancient times in the land of Nod
Druids slept in the forests of Dod
Mystical mists engulfed tall trees
Water nymphs swam seven seas
A magical sun shines only by night
By day moonshine is burning bright.

Wild life left for the golden sands
Fish decided to live on the lands
Grew legs to stroll along with ease,
Walks this day in woodlands breeze.
A magical sun shines only by night
By day moonshine is burning bright.

The trees in forest told all the news
Opened with ancient leaves to view
Barks peeled back to an open book
Only the wise can take a good look.
A magical sun shines only by night,
By day moonshine is burning bright.


Crazy Land of Nod 2

The druids travelled from far and wide
Mounted dolphins that swam the tide
Made their way through water spray
Way past where the mermaids play
The book of trees ne`er told no lies
Truth was found betwixt loving eyes.

On the sea shore of golden sands
Two lovers sat both holding hands
An evil sea serpent from the deep
Woke up suddenly from his sleep
The book of trees ne`er told no lies
Truth was found betwixt loving eyes.

He then conjured up a wicked spell
And turned them both into a shell
The druids found them eventually
Entwined together for all eternity,
The book of trees ne`er told no lies
Truth was found betwixt loving eyes

So back they went to the Land of Nod
Back with the druids to the forest Dod
For this magic spell shall be broken
Within the book the tree has spoken
The book of trees ne`er told no lies
Truth was found betwixt loving eyes.


Crazy Land of Nod 3

Wilder the winds that blew from a cloud
Storm ridden waters with thunder loud
Violent waves that had crashed ashore
With all that ventured the deep sea floor
Red was the sky that framed the ocean
Enhanced were lovers in deep devotion.

No more did the mermaids myths unfold
Of sea shanties sang in dayes of old
Nor sea serpents live to cast their spell
No longer had dolphins this tale to tell
Red was the sky that framed the ocean
Enhanced were lovers in deep devotion.

Wild life had returned to the open land
Far from the sea with the golden sand
Neptune arose from the salt sea spray
To conjure the spell of the lovers away
Red was the sky that framed the ocean
Enhanced were lovers in deep devotion.

The book of trees ne`er told no lies
Truth was found betwixt loving eyes
A magical sun shines only by night
By day moon shine is burning bright
Red was the sky that framed the ocean
Enhanced were lovers in deep devotion.


Creatures Of Fernwood

The fullest moon shines in the sky
When an owl screeches aloud
His dark silhouette soars forward
Before descending on his prey
Within Fernwood by night.

Deep in the forest `neath the trees
Fern fronds begin to unfurl
Nodding in the morning breeze
Where last years spores dispel
Within Fernwood by morn`.

A dormouse shakes off the earth
Awakens from winters sleep
His tiny claws scratches his girth
Snuffling to find fleshy shoots
Within Fernwood by noon.

Deep in the forest `neath a shrub
A badger returned to her sett
To feed her awaiting badger cubs
With six of the brightest eyes
Within Fernwood by day.

Rabbits forage the forest floor
For tasty shoots to nibble
Ears erect towards dog or fox
Until they have all passed by
The Fernwoods warren.

Creatures that dwell large or small
With instincts deeply inborne
Tho` danger is never so far away
The fittest of all shall survive
Within Fernwood Forest.


Imaginary Friend

I think I saw a fairy
Amidst yon meadow clary
She turn`d to me and smiled
But she never spoke a word
It may have been absurd
I guess she was something wild
But still recall this day
I think I saw a fae
But then, I was only a child.


Moon Phase Crop Growing

When to plant the seasons seed
In the hope, that you succeed
Does not take much explaining
Leave it while the moon is waning.
Observe the sky when relaxing
Sow thy grain while moon is waxing.

Man hath studied through the ages
Natures growth with moon in phases
Heeding to the ancient learnings
Learned farmers thus concerning
Observe the sky when relaxing
Sow thy grain while moon is waxing.

For thy crops shall not prevail
If moon is waning they may fail
Wait and learn given a chance
They shall flourish at a glance
Observe the sky when relaxing
Sow thy grain while moon is waxing.



Somewhere there were trees swaying in the breeze
The would often speak to me rustling autumn leaves
I would listen to their grief how their dwindling away
To make much more space for the humans of today;
It sadly breaks our hearts, making all us trees sigh
What was once so strong shall now most surely die.

What of all our life here in this forest looking bare
What of all the wildlife why does`nt anybody care
Where ever shall all the birds go if they cannot rest
When they have`nt any trees to build their cosy nest;
It sadly breaks our hearts, making all us trees sigh
What was once so strong, shall now most surely die

Plants are getting rarer to make room for mankind
How much room needed are they out of their minds
Where is the green belt, they promised us forever
Those words were they false or broken or whatever;
It sadly breaks our hearts making all us trees sigh
What was once so strong shall now most surely die.


Seasons of the Forest

Green the meadows which thrive in the spring
Harken the cuckoos sweet song on the wing
For all of earths creatures shall spring alive
Woodlands in springtime again shall survive
Praising each year the changing of seasons
Blessed be to nature who has her reasons.

Summer adorned the dense thickets of green
Flowers now boasting natures magical scene
No artists brush shall inspire with this flair
To capture moments with precision and care
Praising each year the changing of seasons
Blessed be to nature who has her reasons

Come Autumns carpet of crimson and gold
Shedding the leaves bright colours to behold
Thou who hath withered with ne-er a sound
A host of dead leaves fierce winds blew down
Praising each year the changing of seasons
Blessed be to nature who has her reasons.

Pretty is the picture of this winters scene
Sprinkles of snow adorning pines of green
This page from a magical faerie lore story
Transforming the forest to all it`s glory
Praising each year the changing of seasons
Blessed be to nature who has her reasons.


Tree Hugger

The growth of a tree is a wonderful thing
Strong of trunk for the branches frame
Growing like arms spread out wide
With leafy hands and sap bearing veins
To endure all weathers.

In wind and rain and the burning hot sun
We never think that a tree has feelings
It only takes a moment of time
To appreciate beauty that trees can give
And cool shade beneath.

Are we too wrapped up in our own illusions
Where would bird go if they had no trees
To build there nest within shade
When a weeping willow weeps for love
Sympathize and give her a hug.


The Voice

The trees were nourished a long time ago
Flowers and herbs with seed pods to sow,
Once rivers were flowing with waters clear
And the songs of the birds for us to hear;
A voice had carried as the hurricane blew
God forgive they know not what they do

Their were Fields of plenty corn and wheat
Of barley turnips maize and of beet
Wild life had dwelt in the forest so deep
Insects busy in the rich soil did keep
A voice had carried as the hurricane blew
God forgive they know not what they do.

The seasons of nature did come and go
And oceans with tides that ebb and flow
A sun that gave warmth shining bright
Moons that lightened the darkest night
A voice had carried as the hurricane blew
God forgive they know not what they do.

Humans who thought they did their best
But now they have gone and laid to rest
With nothing left of the safe ozone layer
Our World just a desert barren and bare
A voice carried as the hurricane blew
God forgive they know not what they do.

May we try another planet and start again?
Correcting our mistakes that we made then
Can we make better rules is it not too late?
For a new World with a much better fate.
A voice carried as the hurricane blew
God forgive they know not what they do.


Waltz of Flowers

Tchaikovsky`s music drifts thro`the glade
The orchestra strikes soft notes
Faeries awaken and stretch their wings
For the ballet of the flowers waltz
And the dance begins.

Round and round the faeries pirouette
Within a sacred faerie ring,
To magic spells of musical descant
As they dance in a mystical trance
In a soprano of song.

As they weave in and out of the ferns,
Rose petals float in the breeze
Releasing sweet the scent all around
Whilst toadstools take their bow
To deep notes of lore.

The whispers of leaves upon the bower
To the gentle hum of the bees
When raindrops sprinkle thro`the clouds
And the orchestra takes a final bow
The waltz of flowers end.


Wolf Song

How knowingly you walked towards me
Gazing through beautiful amber eyes
You sensed the love and respect
Which forever remains in my heart
No fear whatsoever between us.

For you had come to me so willingly
I caressed your thick soft coat
When we walked I felt complete
As if spiritually it was meant to be
I cared for your existance.

I am only ashamed, I am part of a race
Which eradicated your forefathers
I saw only a beautiful social animal
Raising cubs with no hindrance from man
You had captured my heart.

I am grateful for the spiritual feeling
You stirred in the depth of my soul
And forever treasure the privilege
To have walked among your pack and heard
Your wolf song, on my departure.


Woodland Powers

Strength from sap of the branches strong
With powers that flow through leafy veins
Aromatic oils from Cedars balm
Enhanced by morning dawns sweet dew
And soothing salves from the honey bee.

Woodlanders gathered from far and wide
With ailing bodies and of troubled minds
For relief from medicinal herbs
To feel this effect from natures source
Of healing powers of the forest.

Sickness and strife spread thro` the lands
Nature provided her own perfect cure
A source from trees shared by all
Remedies there from all things that grew
Upon ancient trees of the forest.


World Peace

we could
save the World
what would we do,
we could only give love
unto all nations, me and you
we are all in this World together
united we must be united we must stand
we are all birds but with different feathers
with no more conflicts let us all walk hand in hand.

This our Planet is a most beautiful place to live in.
with glades of trees, birds, flora, herbs to see
why should we want to destroy these gifts
of nature which has been given free
shall we now take notice and look
at the wonders around us
a crisper open page
in natures book.
for perfect

Jem Farmer

Amber Forests

Amid the weald land trees she lies,
The girl whose eyes shone with amber dreams,
Her hair the shades of golden rain,
With russet lips she sang her song
The voice of a soulful nightingale.

Before the dawning of the day
When sunlight dances oíer the forest ground
Her honeyed-voice sings of love
With the braying of the wolves
Calling for a restful day.

Tendrils of early light
Stretching through the darkest green
Vibrant hues reflecting life
In rainbow of colour greet the day
And natureís love is born again.


Another Language

In lives gone by, I spoke their language,
The ancient words of Mother Earth
Without the aid of a mobile phone.
I could touch the breeze in harmony
And understand the chorus of dawn birds.

I tasted sweet ambrosia,
The honeyed nectar of the gods.
I danced in the wooded pantheon
To the beat of single drum
While listening to the moon.

Yet now I have forgotten
The ways of age old mystery,
I have lost the joy of creation.
Yet an echo thunders in my soul
Drawing me to the forest trees.


Circle In Motion

Majestic limbs reaching for the sky
Capture a breeze that whispers in the night
Ancient wisdom drawn from deep within,
Deep within the core of Earth
And I can hear Her heart beat.

Cooling canopies keeping out the sun
Or the first droplets of rain
While I walk among the bluebells
A mystical arcana
That chimes amid the green and brown.

Wild winds of fragrance bathe the air
Cleansing the breath of life
Life nurtured from deathís debris
Scattered on the ground
The circle in motion

Here in the weald lies absolution
A loving mother giving up her heart
The certainty of our creation
The essence of life
Are found here in Her heart and soul.


Crystal Cascade

A forest of callous crystals cascades through the cavern
Like a carousel of tears frozen in time;
Barren and bereft, devoid of emotion,
Unwanted and unheeded,
Deserted in a desolate place.

Slipping and sliding, this way and that
Avoiding the dual with destiny
But fate says there is nowhere to run;
In coldness she weeps ebony tears
Beneath a cheerless carpet of snow.

From the snow burst quartz flowers
Reflecting the beauty she knew as pain
In a heartless world of Man
As destiny decreed it should be
Until humankind is deserving again.


Iris Dreams

Golden shadows on seas of blue
Touch my eyes with your beauty
Let me linger awhile in your serenity
In that peaceful place of the garden
Where the iris blooms.

Vibrant summer roses cannot compare
To your delicate allure
Nor can the sunshine daffodils
Grant me that exquisite unity
I find in an indigo dream.


Majestic White

There in majestic white he stood
Amid the bowers of the weld
His chocolate eyes watching
The glade where the fairies play
And the unicorn stood in silence.

Cascades of ivory silk
Ripple in the evening breeze
The muteness of the moment
Shivers on his stilled ears
As the fairy dance began.

Music lost to human ears
Blows gently on the wind
And while the unicorn observes
In the realms of fantasy
I bid you dance with me.


Village Fete

Humming bees and lavender define
A summerís day as children play upon the green
Building daisy chains of forget-me-nots
And cicadas sing among the grass
That grows wildly in the park.

Foaming froths of ginger beer
Cheer the child while mum and dad sip tea
Cream teas in the marquee for one and nine
Spin the wheel for a penny
And win a bottle of wine

Tombola turns the raffle prize
A jumble of clothes for sixpence
Find a treasure with a threepenny bit
The joy of bric-a-brac has no measure
With memories of times gone by.

back to list

Ryter Roethicle

Gíday Rest of the World

Looking beyond the Eastern horizon,
See how the red rose slowly becomes the dawn
As she opens her petals and forms the early morn
The redness denotes the coming day
And we are warned about the coming wind and rain.

The trees come to life as the darkness lifts
There is not much green as winter is upon us
So we see mostly empty limbs and a promise
That will be fulfilled in just two months time
They will be amply covered and no longer embarrassed.

The birds are awake and call to each other
Their normal raucous calls echoing along the emptiness
And again two months will bring a change
With protective aggression emerging from the nest
But at present that aggression is tempered by the cold.

New consciousness awakens with the cold
Reluctantly forcing our dreams to disperse
As reality forces its way into our minds
The eyes open and see the rose at work again
But closing them is no longer an option.


On Being In The Woods

I will walk slowly through the wood
In here I feel the peace I knew I would.
There is no anguish only a feeling sublime
The trees created through endless time.
Feeling the stresses of the day melt away
And my inner self bids me to stay.

There is no peace within a buildings walls
And only confusion within the hotels halls.
The piped music drives away sane thoughts
With inspiration gone Iím left with naught.
Common sense tells me, itís time to run away
Itís stupid really for me to stay.

A sup of wine, and a loaf of bread
Isnít that what Omar Khayyam said?
To sup, and eat beneath a bough
It was true then and tis surely true now
Feeling the stresses of the day melt away
And my inner self that bids me stay.

Here Iím free to write and free to feel
Realising life within these trees is real.
I feel their peace surging over me
Now realising this is whatís meant to be
No more stresses, no more debt left to pay
Iíve now decided itís here Iíll stay.


Under Drought

The apples on the trees are small, tasteless
The tree is starved and thirsty
And she is depriving her children of a future.
But what future can there be,
The soil is too hard, too dry?

The promise of fruit is no longer valid
There is no rhubarb anymore
Nor do the strawberries have promise.
The lemon tree is the only one that thrives
Sheís in a tub close by the door and gets doses of grey water.

The native trees still survive
They are hardy and used to droughts
The foreigners expect to be spoilt
And shrivel up under the suns heat
And the dry soil below.



As I eat my lunch Iím watching the local birds
Paddling in the puddles of sunlight in the yard.
The ample shelter of the trees cast long shadows
That shapes the place like a series of furrows
Of light and dark green, light and dark paving
I watch and eat and satiate hungers craving.

Iím sitting now watching my students do a test
Itís been a hectic time and Iím ready for a rest.
The crowd this week are more than friendly enough
Thereís a need to hear English, that makes it tough.
Too much broken language and arms a waving
To hear English spoken is really what Iím craving.

This eve Iíll sit outside with a bottle of wine,
My laptop will play music, and then all will be fine.
Iíll watch the sun set over those ancient trees
Then when set Iíll feel the evening breeze,
And perhaps then Iíll realise what Iím saving,
All the time and peace that will ease my craving.


There is still a touch of heat in the night
As the setting sun continues to shed its light.
A strange bird calls out its unfamiliar song
I am new, and its family has been here so long.
It calls out as if to say; "Thereís a stranger here".
If only it would understand, thereís naught to fear.

Even though a semi-stranger to this part of Earth
I will still respect and love its land of birth.
The greenness around tells me they wish to breathe
And therefore gives me no urgent call to leave.
I can understand that all this has cost avians dear,
If only they understand from me thereís naught to fear.


Wentworth Falls

In front of me are the mountains
With the blue haze rising from the trees.
The heavy greens contrasted by the black rock
And that contrasted by the whiteness of the waterfalls,
But most of all is the serenity arising from it all.

There is a path that took me from here at peace
Round to the thousand steps I once could ascend
But now am content to only view
And enjoy as if I were a Japanese tourist
Still I am left with memories they could never have.

Their cameras would never go where I have been
Thus will never see the treasures I have.
Treasures that are beyond gold and silver,
The joy and love of nature that can never be bought
And because of memory can be ever enjoyed.


Nature - Collins Sequence

All life and more is in Natures plan
The least of which should humble man
And grows and forms and adapts to strife
This is the challenge Nature puts on life.
Across the ages life has made a chart
At survival each life has made an art

Each plant mutates and has adapted so
It lies dormant in sand, it sleeps in snow
Every year with the start of Natures round
On looking about a new shoot are found
Now is the time as the young shoots dart.
At survival each life has made an art

After desert rains see life grow again.
With the help of the sun and the rain
At last new life will emerge and grow
In the worst conditions life will show
With every chance new life will start
At survival each life has made an art


Life blossoms forth its symbolic scenes
Attracting to procreate and pass on its genes
It is reliant on symbiosis for the key
And it needs the help of the worker bee
Or other creature that pass on the seed
To help fertilise each plant and weed.

And as the seasons wax and wane
One years lost is another's gain
Nature always balances out with time
So that nothing can out climb
As other creatures help pass on the seed

They help fertilise each plant and weed.

All things are equal in this natural state
All know their place as does their mate
Every year as each beast conceives
Each plant pushes forth new leaves
Creatures have helped pass on the seeds
Helping to fertilise the plants and weeds.

< #3

All know their place and their fate
Living out of harmony within their state
Should one species become too strong,
Nature levels it out before too long.
Natures balance is without deceit
Then along comes man in all his conceit.

Who often forgets that it is not his plan.
Always thinking naught is better than man
Ignoring that heís only an alternate form.
Not just like every other creature born
Upsetting the balance with his deceit
All part of man and his conceit.

Because of man, every day a species dies
And all we hear are corporate lies
Science and technology only deceives.
Ask the ancients what the tribe believes.
Those ancients live and are without deceit
And are ashamed of man and his conceit.

The world from space how lush and green
But down here the destruction is obscene.
What man has done in the name of gain
Really means civilization has gone insane.
Destroying forests to build new towns
Acting like a bunch of painted clowns.

The cars and trucks we drive pollute the air
But we carry on regardless without a care
One day soon we will be asked to pay
Faced with the truth what will we say?
First denying using men in caps and gowns
But academics are not painted clowns.

They say itís not to late to change our way
But for what we take, we also have to pay.
And must live with Nature, and learn the art
So that with every chance new life will start.
Stop denying the truth, throw the gauntlet down
And depose each and every painted clown.

back to list

Liz Rule

From The Seed Springing (Tanka Sequence)

from the seed springing
the roots of trees pulse a path
through the strongest stone
entwined inextricably
in loveís dance - you and I

meadow sunlight...
leaves tremble in the breeze
dragonflies glide
on loveís warm currents
I tremble at your touch

in a jam jar
by your door -
my colour-clad messengers
to welcome the wanderer

azaleas in Spring
a spider bridges the gap
between two branches -
the way we weave in and out
of each otherís lives

photo on the web
a map of your face
with my cursor
I trace the tracks of our love
from half a world away

his empty house
the floor tessellated
with manuscripts
each a chrysalid poem -
his doors padlocked against thieves

since your passing
Earth turns once around the sun
last night
I read your poems of love
to the rain's soft tattoo

leaves crunch underfoot
morning dew on bare branches
does the falling leaf
grieve for the loss of its tree
as I grieve for you?



winter moon
bare trees dream
of leaves


wind song
sweeps away each blossom
the coming of summer


sipping tea...
pine needles brush
my window


currawong -
bare branches frame
the stars

A Tug

a tug on the line
the spider ties up
its next meal


summer meadows
scotch broom lavishes
its gold


stealing shells
the tide tossed ashore
unhurried... no worries


farmers' market
the tarot reader peers
over the cabbages


pollen wind
swarms of bees forage
in gum blossom


On The Track

By sandy track and hanging swamp,
in late winter, wattle blooms;
banksias burn coloured candles,
arrayed in orange, yellow, silver,

proffer pollen to pesky insects,
honeyeaters, long-tongued lizards,
which lazily lounge on sun-warm stone,
or shelter from whining winter winds.



Majestic trunks -
river red gums rise
out of Wimmera soil;
raucous cries
of swooping, whirling,
weaving swarms of birds
salute the swathe of sunset -
without words.

Coruscating colours
of eveningís sun
daub dancing leaves
and wanton wings outspun;
nature wields its spell,
wizard night
propels aloft
the shadow, soul-kite.

On pensive pinions,
to eagle-view the world,
I hover on slipstreams
of mind unfurled,
savour endless
vistas of imagination,
draw deep-watered thoughts
from wellsprings of creation.

of natureís primal rhythm,
rippling echoes
from depths I cannot fathom -
wizard nightís
wild tattoo from afar
aligns my course
past furthest fiery star.

back to list

Any Comments or Suggestions, please email me

The Poets Garret
2011 Poetry Form Challenge
2011 Poetry Theme Challenge
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community