jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Men in Trees...in the Suburbs

The countryside. This week's One Deep Breath haiku prompt. The countryside. Where I would so like to be right now, rather than the suburbs, rife with the sound of minivans, soccer moms bemoaning their time behind the wheel, neat leaf free lawns, carpets to vaccuum, dishes to do, cobwebs to greet (Nice to meet you. I've never seen you around here. How long you lived here?)... But hey, there are men swinging from trees outside my window. It could be worse!

Truly, there is a whole team of men, ages twenty to eighty, across the street from me, swinging from branches, hanging by cables so that at times I can just see their dangling legs, as they remove the overgrowth of trees from my neighbor's yard. Now, we have a tree in our back yard, so big it takes more than our family of four to join hands around it, and I would never, never cut it down. Even though it threatens to fall on our roof. Or so my husband says. He doesn't know I have an agreement with the tree. I admire it's beauty, extol its virtues, and the tree stays as upright as a ballet dancer en pointe.

So, they're over there, this tree gang, and they're being so careful. The branches are carefully trussed so as not to smash anything when they fall. The men are harnessed, all manner of tied up. I'll bet in the old days, or up north where I come from, tree guys climb with spikes on their boots, or maybe without spikes at all, just straddle the tree and ride the branches up. And I'll bet they don't truss up the branches to avoid a mess. So "citified" this undertaking is. Why, just now, half the top of a maple just came haltingly down out of nowhere like an arthritic old man sitting down, limb, by shaky limb.

Ah. A thump. A chainsaw. A wood splitter. Giant oak limbs hitting the ground. Men in trees. Limbs in the air. Orange leaves falling like tropical snow. Heavy branches, massive arms hitting the ground, meeting the earth with a satisfying shudder. What more could a homesick Adirondack girl ask for? Maybe some decent poetry from a reluctant muse. We'll see...

I am a native.
I drink lakes, eat fresh berries.
I come from mountains.

Tree falls on back road.
Oak leaves spread like red carpet.
Party is started.

Chickadee your host.
Orange fox leads you forward.
Welcome to the field.

Valley on two sides,
green mountains, army of trees.
Rest in the hay field.

Countryside of war,
soldiers braved your dark forests.
Boots can still be heard.

South of a small town
silent cemetary waits.
Everyone goes home.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so ready for all these lovely haiku until I reached the last one. Wow, what a different, but acurate, take on the prompt. Way to think outside the box!

BTW, I also liked the "Orange leaves falling like tropical snow"--wonderful imagery.

10:05 PM  
Blogger ian russell said...

wonderful set of haiku, jilly.

i am a native... i like this the best i think.

7:56 AM  
Blogger S.L. White said...

Yes! That first stanza rocks the world... but the story is so moving, so sad. A pact with the tree, good idea! Why can't people accept that other beings have lives of their own, and it's okay if they don't quite mesh perfectly with ours. We can adapt too, sometimes.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

It's always a treat to read your posts :) Charming and touching!

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

Good, in so many different ways! I like them all.

5:12 PM  
Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Very nice! I love this. We had a tree I loved, too, I made a pact, I promised...but my husband said, "after 20 years of having it your way, I am finally having it my way." So the men in trees came with their ropes and saws (it was a giant of a tree) and cut it limb by limb. Now it is having its revenge--by sending up sucker shoots from the roots by the thousands. It's growing a forest!

12:42 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent post. I hate trees being destroyed. My parents have a huge tree in their back garden and they had to have it trimmed a wee bit but its still there, a little smaller and more elegant....

4:13 AM  

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