I think that I shall never be
Able to photograph this tree
At least, not properly
But golly gee
It pleases me.


  1. Leaf by Niggle. Read it.

  2. That versifying broke my brain. Just a little bit.

  3. Sorry to show up late for the party…

    Here's mine:


    High up in sky-country of years ago,
    These flickering trees semaphored their green
    Into Colorado sky. They threw
    Their shivered branch work against each mountain
    To wake ghosts of pioneers and prospects.
    Where oxygen is thinner than hammered gold
    And landscape refines what blood’s beat expects –
    My feet ate a mile of it and I felt old.

    Aspen is a place never to be reached –
    Its distance strains the eye to touch, possess.
    A place of ghosted bones, now piled and bleached
    As old shadows – but a place to profess
    Faith in earth, its fullness a bowl, an ark
    That holds a body’s unobtainable breadth;
    So limbs sculpt out inner skin, outer bark;
    So leaves shudder, cool, cooling, out of breath.

    The aspen leaf is silhouette and echoes
    The parent it shapes in the chaos of clay.
    The shuffling winds tangle with the geckoes
    And autumn’s fallen colors. That last day
    In Aspen, I walked the rich, sad sunlight down
    And heard time’s potter’s wheel hiss with desire:
    The aspens grant us leave to see things barren
    Like sunset’s match heads catching us, catching fire.

    This Aspen… This place can stake a firm claim
    On easy hearts – its air flushes thin veins.
    The ghosts of place always work their own time
    In clay; here they parse out and form great planes
    And angles, rising through low banks of cloud.
    Their yielded catkins drop to burn, turn cold
    In soil, wait and ignite again a hillside,
    A green world shaken awake by dormant gold.
    -Summer ‘98; Summer ‘05

  4. Dorian Speed says

    This post inspired me to walk out in the backyard and try to photograph our own pleasant tree.

    Oh! Look what I did! Not even on purpose!

    Uh, anyway, but the tree doesn't have any leaves right now and it just didn't feel right, photographing her under these circumstances. She suffers enough abuse from the children who hack playfully at her roots.

    So…wait for it…I guess we will have to EXCHANGE PLEASANT TREES another time.

  5. Matthew Lickona says

    "A pun?"

    "No – a play on words."


    Awesome. I also like "Hack playfully at her roots."


    I like "My feet ate a mile of it."

  6. JOB is SUCH a show-off.


    Nicely done.

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