Phases of Trees
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Health and Wellness

Phases of Trees

Poetry About the Commodification of Trees

Phases of Trees

My Nature Writing and Ecological Literature class has come to a close. For my final project, I wrote three poems on three difference "phases" of wood (a log, a plank, and a sheet of paper). Each represents a different way we commodify trees! Let me know what you think!

I) Log

You steal this peace

of a branch that scarred

you, Father,

to show it who’s boss of Beauty.

a tree shall not

respect a man

a man who steals

her week’s-worth

color already dies

without him

autumn’s living

wake gives the wind

one more song

before first frost

You admire her

before you slice

her from core

through dirtied coat.

You admire her

before you convince her

to burn whole.

You admire her

before her remnants

taint your soles.

You admire her

before you

burn yourself, too.

II) Plank

I lick this peace

of shimmed polio


wall of ties

walls of Grandfather’s Home.

sawdust sweeps through

moistened nostrils

and settles in memory membranes

antiquated cologne

each bud tastes the grain

blossom, my dear,

we shall in this Home.

if walls could talk

they would cry –

stopping the wind

when it should be


if walls could talk

they would cry

with each stubbed toe,

knuckle to stained surface,

and overbearing containment

and if we talked more

to walls, we would cry

in the name of appreciation,

fully knowing

one day we will leave

and the wind will win

splinters and nails

splinters and nails

it tells me

to remind myself –

create and abandon

create once more.

III) Paper

We grasp this peace

of knowledge

with, and for,

the power of the world

from one dead tree

to the next

We pray for someone

who’s written on you

to pray for you

wrinkles and roots

swiftly and deeply

sap our soul observation

we caress and prod

recollections between

ground and pressed

slivers of merciless value

pages are flavored

by our fingerprints

rather than their mothers’

and we wrote

how they tasted homey

but never quite like Home

hypocrisy contained

in animal flesh binding


soul embellishment

silent wishes

always hoping to birth masterpieces

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