Tuesday, December 4, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Where the wild trees grow

Tree by Logan

my fingers glow in the dashboard lights,
the floorboard mat striped light & dark
distinct, sun still asleep, the truck hums
lullabies & i
                   sl(yawn)ip
                              back asleep

eeeRrTHUNK

awake, the cab already cooling without heat
i blink, blink---rub my eyes, first light & fog,
my dad & men in a huddle, muffled voices,
dark trees, shades

gloves & stocking cap, i step out, squish
mud around my shoes in the road, a mere
culvert carved in the earth

'let's go' & all morning we walk in the silent
song of wood backs straightening, branches
lifting high in pride at the possibility

of earning a pink ribbon, my hands full of clay
pigeons, yellow and black, some chipped
from a hunter's practice shots---we single out 200
full bodied, nice shaped, to be culled

'which one is ours?'

'we'll see when they come. i have one in mind
but---'

they stand around in front of the trucks
& tell stories over coffee, white smoke breathe
on each other & i walk the small grass

between giants, ready to lay down their lives
to give Christmas to families, telling them stories
not just of the children that will bejewel
their arms with tinsel & light

but ones in the hospital where the money
made on their sale will mean presents &
joy in faces, arms out wide gracing
their needles with finger tips---

'brighter even than the star that will crown
your head,
because of you.'

Over at dVerse Poets, it is OpenLinkNight and poetry is flowing freely, so stop in and drop your own or just read some of the submissions...the doors open at 3 pm.

This poem was inspired by one of our poets, Patricia Wolf, whose poem this weekend got me thinking of visits to the tree farm with my dad growing up.

118 comments:

ReBelle said...

Wow,I was so there!

And congrats on being featured at Cuban's...I used to visit him when on one of my older blogs. I should pick him back up...fun reading over there.

Lorraine said...

You are the Good in Goodwill, Early Merry Christams my dear friend

Lorraine said...

hum I swear I don't drink much
Christmas

SueAnn Lommler said...

Yes...goodwill to all and to all a good night! Love this time of year! The toasting, the eating, the sharing and caring..love it all!
Hugs
SueAnn

sreeja harikrishnan said...

especially loved the last lines and the stanza starting with- between giants...
very lively images..enjoyed...

Mary said...

I enjoyed this reminiscence, Brian. And your son's tree was wonderful. Hope you will frame it. And hang it.

kaykuala said...

between giants, ready to lay down their lives to give Christmas to families

Big trees means more money. More sales proceeds can be extended to the poor souls at the hospitals! Christmas preparations in good time.Nicely Brian!

Hank

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

Love the picture :) This is the best time :)

Steve E said...

As Lorraine--above--I wish also an "early Merry Christams" to you! Peeps always seem nicer (maybe a reflection?) this time each year.

Your autobiography will be a hoot, mon.
Every blogger should write one. Due to my copious amount of humility--grin...I don't wish to be first. Even though I rival Methusala in age.

I sure see talent in Logan's gift to us. Of course the first "degree" of talent is "DO IT". And logan did/does.

Thank you for posting his work.
Now--wipe the mud off your shoes and get into the classroom, where anxious brains await.....

Daniel said...

Nice peace that made my mind fill with images of good times.

Steve E said...

OK Lorraine, that's Methuselah...I gotta go eat dirt now!

Tabor said...

Thank goodness for all the generous giants of the world.

JANU said...

Can't relate much to this but, yes, liked your words.
Bring on the spirit of Christmas!

Grandmother said...

Such a vivid scene you paint in this lovely story and its portrayal of good men doing good things for their families. I love how you spread your goodwill. May it come back to you in full measure, pressed down and flowing over.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Nice write as usual!..

Been to busy missreading your posts...

JJRod'z

Optimistic Existentialist said...

An ode to the selfless people of the world...I love it.

Pat Hatt said...

Great trip down memory lane
As you brought forth the memory train
As if it was yesterday
I guess you always were a gawker at your bay
Taking in all
Now you just post it on your wall

DJan said...

Logan's tree is amazing. And your poem evokes all the before dawn memories I have. Good job as usual! :-)

Grace said...

I like the sounds and smell of the waking up and getting the tree Brian ~ How lovely to share this joy and blessings with others ~ Logan's drawing is precious ~

Happy day, Brian ~

Monkey said...

I could see it, smell it...another great adventure you allowed me to tag along on...thanks miller :)

G-Man said...

Ha!!
Cool Beans Son!
I bought a REAL tree this year for the first time in about 15 years.

Valerie said...

Logan's tree is brilliant. It sure complemented your words, Brian. I've been trying not to think about Christmas until it gets nearer, but now I think I have to get ready.

pandamoniumcat said...

A lovely memory,it's nice the sale of the trees puts smiles on faces of children on Christmas day. Just loved the drawing, a brilliant tree!

pandamoniumcat said...

A lovely memory,it's nice the sale of the trees puts smiles on faces of children on Christmas day. Just loved the drawing, a brilliant tree!

Anthony Desmond said...

Nice...Got me thinkin about xmas now...
yes love to those giants... if giving ain't the best feeling in the world i don't know what is

Luke Prater said...

I echo Lorraine - you being the Good in Goodwill... read my Xmas poems for another perspective... hehe

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Wow, beautiful poem bro. That's such a cool memory to have, and what a great lesson to learn by your father's example. Now, this is a great Xmas poem. Excellent, I say, Mosk

Natasha Head said...

My grandfather fed his family (and his passion for the bottle) with Christmas Trees and horse races ;) Every year, that's where we would land...and like the Griswolds...we always managed to forget something...but still managed to come home with the tree. You've spun up some awesome memories for me with this one Poet...thank you!

manicddaily said...

Very pretty poem, Brian. k.

Myrna R. said...

What a good memory. These little traditions made our holidays so special. I like that the trees were sold to raise funds for hospitalized kids. You obviously cultivated kind heart early in your life. Your Dad seems to have influenced that. So nice.

manicddaily said...

Sorry - don't have time today agh = I like the standing talking and white breath in air the best and waking--that early morning stuff so palpable here and something that children just latch on to. I did anyway. k.

Pearl said...

Love that.

"brighter even than the star that will crown
your head,
because of you.'

That will stay with me for a while...

Pearl

Gloria said...

aaah this is just lovely Brian, love your poems you know!!
And I love a lot Logan's tree so cute:)))

She Writes said...

I love this. It sounds like you had a good dad.

(I have appreciated your critique on occasion, so I have tiny one on this. You have used the word "light" 3 times in the first 8 or nine lines. It may be more interesting to switch that up. My 2 cents :).)

Alice Audrey said...

Makes the hunting of a tree fun.

Other Mary said...

Awww...that's what Christmas is supposed to be about.

Geraldine said...

A nice read to ease into the Christmas season. Lovely!

hedgewitch said...

Beautiful images--esp the children bejeweling with tinsel and light. Happy holidays to you and your family, bri.

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww.... this bought tears to my eyes...damn, you always seem to know exactly what reaches in a grabs the heart strings.
Loved this (how many times can a person say that) lol

Daydreamertoo said...

P.S. Yes, I hope Logan's tree goes on the wall or the fridge too ...it's happy...lovely :)

AmyLK said...

I love trapising around the tree farm looking for the perfect tree! So much fun. Beautiful words.

ayala said...

I love the trip down memory lane, a wonderful share. I also love Logan's painting. :)

Claudia said...

there's so much beautiful magic in this bri...love all the little details...wood backs straightening..the fingers glowing in the dashboard light..everything's so felt and visible...then the nod to christ with the trees laying their lives down & love to do it cause they know how rewarding it will be...and yes i cried...because it is so beautiful and so felt.. lovely drawing by logan as well..

Anne said...

I remember these days as well until my sister Lleilon was born. She was allergic to pine trees and we had to buy artificial.

I was able though to do this with my children when they were little and the tradition has been passed on. Along with picking needles out of the carpet for the next 3 months!

anotherwanderingsoul said...

" sl(yawn)ip
back asleep"

not one single poem i read from you doesn't make me bow my head to you.
i love how you play with words, you make it look so easy!
wonderful poem, brian!

Tara Miller said...

Your write today gives a magical feel. I really like how you describe these oh so special trees, their meaning and how they touch lives.

Dave Barker said...

Love it, Brian, great reminiscences.

Stranger said...

I always wished I could go to a real tree farm. Beautiful. You have a great heart, Brian. I admire you for sharing it with all of us.

Susan Daniels said...

Beautiful poem & wonderful motivation behind it. Love this, and you really gave me some holiday spirit today!

moonlitpoetic said...

so lovely Brian - many inspiring images unfold in my mind as i read this warming magical poem~

Edward said...

The rule of Yule is one of sharing the gifts that cannot be wrapped in anything but expression...and I do love me poems with dashboard imagery...great gravy sir...pass the biscuits...

Mama Zen said...

Oh, this is wonderful!

Laura said...

beautiful memories, imagery... filled with compassion... thanks for this Brian.

Beachanny said...

Your poem brought the Christmas gift of childhood, expectation, and generosity. A beautiful piece told as only you can.

Cloudia said...

that tree fills me with inexplicable joy. thank the artist for me, Bri



Happy Aloha from Honolulu, Bro
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

Annmarie Pipa said...

doing this hopefully this weekend.

tino11 said...

I was going to not comment again, but then it hit me, you have tree farms?? and ?
Love poems about bygone days, nice one fella.

vivinfrance said...

A charmer of a poem, beautifully developed, and the atmosphere compelling.

ND Mitchell said...

It's amazing the details that are in our memories. You make this occasion alive once more with your words. Very nice work sir.

Laurie Kolp said...

This is an experience I've never had, but wished for... sounds like wonderful memories.

mrs mediocrity said...

First, the image made me smile, I love it.

Love the memories in this, the sharing, the caring, the passing of the torch.

You are such a bright star in this world.

Wolfsrosebud said...

double smiles... glad it brought back fond memories

Wolfsrosebud said...

double smiles... glad it brought back fond memories

Sabio Lantz said...

"between giants, ready to lay down their lives
to give Christmas to families"

If only they had voices -- I'd bet its not so pretty!
:-)

Poppy said...

A humbling read :) Always good to read you love...xox

Ginny Brannan said...

"...but ones in the hospital where the money
made on their sale will mean presents &
joy in faces, arms out wide gracing
their needles with finger tips---"

Lest we ever forget the ones who truly need a bit of love during the holidays.
Have re-read this a few times Brian. Great story as seen through a little boy's eyes, written by the kind and thoughtful man that he's become. Thank you for sharing this.

Dana Dampier said...

This brought me back to when I was little and my dad would bring me to a tree farm to help pick out our tree. I love it!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

How can this not stir up memories for all of us! Merry early --you are the best!

Victoria said...

I had so much fun reading this, wondering where we were going. (I tend to skip titles, then go back.) Great job of engaging the senses in this, Brian.

Kelvin S.M. said...

..moving, touching..but most of all a lovely offering Brian... your voice was clearly heard.. God bless you.

C Rose said...

you spoke the words as if this has just occurred in your world, I love how you retain the youthful perspective of the events as they unfolded. Send peace and love Brian ~ Rose

henry clemmons said...

I remember trudging through the woods to find our tree in winter. Big trees can be a lil scarey to some, giants for sure, giant firs, needles for fingers. I enjoyed the aroma of your poem. Merry Christmas.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Your son is quite the artist! Love this memory you have shared, I am inspired by you and yours...

myraysoflight said...

I could feel this poem...very well done. I remember hunting for that perfect tree...something aboutit just screamed out to you. A perfect way to start this December's Dverse poets pub!!!

Peace to you Brian

flaubert said...

Beautiful memory poem, Brian. You took me back to my childhood days, thanks.

Pamela

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

So many warm memories around this time. :)

Raajii said...

That's such a beautiful poem! Thank you :-)

Glenn Buttkus said...

Great slice of Miller father/son memories, drenching me in my own, hiking, camping, fishing, hunting; early dawns still in darkness, the adults all smoking, coffee boiling in a can on a roaring fire. I, too, love the line
/I walk the small grass between giants/.

Delaina said...

I love your talent with imagery your words always painting.

Cheers!

Anna Montgomery said...

That's the first time I've experienced an empathetic yawn reading poetry, only you could induce that, smiles. Evocative and endearing.

colleen said...

I had to read fast to make sure you weren't driving and then I thought you were a boy hunting. I loved the star that crowns your head.

RMP said...

magical and beautiful. You paint a picture so perfectly I can see take shape in front of me. ahh...and the ending, so lovely.

Lisa Golden said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

Arron Shilling said...

this takes the reader right to the spot brian, as it develops in rememberence i do feel a sadness
along with the mini-adventure moves: all the best brother:

earning a pink ribbon, my hands full of clay pigeons, yellow and black, some chipped from a hunter's practice shots

a great blend of colour and ideas in the storytelling

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

What a lovely piece of nostalgic poetry.

Shawna said...

This part really stands out to me:

"i walk the small grass

between giants, ready to lay down their lives
to give Christmas to families"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jackie dick said...

What a sweet and beautiful memory, so well told, Brian. Love the idea of spreading goodwill early...the profits raised from the trees to provide joy to the sick and needy Lovely write! Hugs.:))

AJ Walker said...

Long way to scroll down to leave a comment, lol. What can I say that hasn't already been said? Pick your favorite and I'll second it. :) Very good poem.

Fred Rutherford said...

Really great piece Brian. So glad you mentioned the final note here. As it is something, probably above all, yes, even the weaving of words, that I enjoy the most out of poetry and it's community in this virtual landscape. It's that you can and do find little lines, themes or what nots that stick with you, ignite memories you'd forgotten or just provide viewpoints, not all of which you might agree with or even condone in some cases, but nevertheless they offer something to test your own thoughts, or affirm them, prove them or whatever…it's that notion I like the most and the fact you wrote an entire piece based off of what you read and where the read took you, I think is remarkable. Thanks

darkangelwrites said...

Lost track... were you shooting sometin' or cutting sometin" down?
:)

Susan said...

"'let's go' & all morning we walk in the silent
song of wood backs straightening, branches
lifting high in pride at the possibility"

oWOO!! Took a moment to stop over and read Patricia's poem. Evocative indeed. Thank you for this Ode to the Christmas tree--a sweet purpose of Male Bonding.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love the tree!... and not just the children who will bejewel their arms with tinsel...such heartwarming images here...wishing you a very happy festival season.

Dave King said...

Loved the whole feel and savour of this. The echoes and resonances are beautifully contrived.

Louise said...

Great descriptions in this...'we walk in the silent song of wood backs straightening'...love that :)

Reggie said...

Nice, very very nice.

Mr. Charleston said...

It has always bothered me that a beautiful young tree must die for some celebration. But nice that these will benefit the greater good.

Raven said...

As I read these words so filled with memory and life ... words that warmed my heart, I realized something that I already knew. You always without fail tell wonderful stories within your poems. Your words they are just "life." Pure and simple, but mostly pure.

James Rainsford said...

Ah Brian, so very evocative and so brilliantly expressed. I loved this.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Never experienced it as a kid, but got to do it with my sons when they were young. Great times. Great write, Brian. Enjoyed it.

Jamie Dedes said...

A fine homage to one of the more magical - even to adults - rituals of the season and a really nice piece of art from your boy.

Well done, Brian. Bravo!

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Reminds, me time to find the chopper and map...

beckykilsby said...

Nice bit of magic here Brian..aah, you old softie

Yiota Luyu Ladybird said...

Amazingly heartfelt the last lines, Brian...am deeply touched :)

"...'brighter even than the star that will crown
your head,
because of you.'"

Beth Winter said...

The ending moved me intensely. Wouldn't it be wonderful if peace didn't need a champion?

tinkwelborn said...

Wonderful. that's what I go away with after reading this piece. your ability to engage the imagination with the story here coupled with adroit use of imagery is just enjoyable. Great story which grows from interior particulars to an imaginary conversation with a 'giant.' Good job. I enjoyed this.

Cindee Snider Re said...

Echoing the words of anotherwanteringsoul, who just said it so perfectly!

Love what you do with language, weaving words into art, both in meaning and right there on the page. Your poetry challenges me to think. And I like that. :) Thank you!

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

endearing picture and a lovely write to have been inspired by it's creativity:)

joanna said...

love the part about telling the trees stories.... touching, as always, brian. just got our tree today. *smiles.*

Lady In Read said...

i second daydreamertoo and anotherwanderingsoul...
because of you, so many are inspired, so many have a smile in their hearts

Anders Woje Ellingsen said...

WHAT IT TAKES

About a walk
I gladly talk:
I fell out and
found wonderland.

A Cuban In London said...

I'm reading this poem on the day I learnt of the death of Dave Brubeck and I'm thinking: your poem is a long sax riff on a silent winter night. That was beautiful, man. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

vbreverb said...

"i walk the small grass
between giants...."
Successful visual--and the comparison makes the trees seem larger and emphasizes their importance to the narrative.

Nico said...

hands full of clay pigeons . . . walk the small grass. . . Man, this is just what I needed to read right now, thanks thanks thanks.

adan said...

( my apologies, between being sick - first time in nearly two years, and losing internet connection, i've been unable to to resp to the good people who visited my site for OLN - feeling better, and working w/a good connection ;-) )

what a gracious portrait, leaves me with a feeling of genuine hope, thanks brian ;-)

Margaret said...

between giants, ready to lay down their lives

Lovely. We will be cutting down a tree soon ourselves.

Syd said...

Those memories of going to the tree farm are great. My dad would bring home a tree when I was a kid. But eventually he and my mother got an artificial tree which was not the same. We have real trees here now. But I still have the retro artificial one from my parents. It's pretty cool now.

Sue said...

Well told.

We used to do the same. Good times.

=)