Trees in Public Places


My savior spirits, in the stilted haunts

Of man, are trees! Oh, lighted loveliness

And shuffling shades, your soft persuasiveness

Awakes in me a half-forgotten ease!


Man’s structured spans eschew what nature flaunts:

A bonhomie of loose, spontaneous parts;

Your humble, feathery, unflustered arts

Confirm that planes are not the way to please.


Blending rooted, trunk-locked gravitas

With leaves like wings of angels, free in flight—

Ungraspable and mutable and light—

Lends you a wholeness lost to brick and stone.


So bend on me with graces as I pass

Into these hard, walled zones of human strain

Lest, for their lacks, they deal me double pain

Now that I’ve felt your quivering in my bone.





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