Wednesday, January 14, 2009

some trees

in the still of winter, trees stand tall and silent. you can sense the life in them but it's contained and carefully protected.

like a small fire.

they stand there, scratched against the thin blue winter sky that fills with cloud, empties and fills again.

weak branches break off. ice coats every twig. frost cracks the trunk.

and still they stand.


some trees

these are amazing: each
joining a neighbor, as though speech
were a still performance.
arranging by chance

to meet as far this morning
from the world as agreeing
with it, you and i
are suddenly what the trees try

to tell us we are:
that their merely being there
means something; that soon
we may touch, love, explain.

and glad not to have invented
such comeliness, we are surrounded:
a silence already filled with noises,
a canvas on which emerges

a chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
placed in a puzzling light, and moving,
our days put on such reticence
these accents seem their own defense.

john ashbery


  1. "scratched against the thin blue winter sky" ... a vivid mental picture immediately appeared in my mind.

  2. i've really noticed and looked at and watched trees this winter.