The Pain of Trees

gentle souls of slient will

The following was written in honor of the Sycamore tree that saved St. Paul’s Chapel, during the attack on the World Trade Center Towers, Sept 11, 2001.
The chapel was bult in 1766 and is rich in American history from George Washington and the American Revolution and on…

The Pain of Trees –

Some have said that trees are souls
whose speech is long and laborious,
that if you listen long and still,
you’ll hear conversation glorious.

But too, a warning goes with such,
that if you listen, as is told,
that years around will move quite fast,
but you, as trees, will not grow old,
but remain in time disjointed,
until a greater tragedy,
of humankind’s perception,
draws you back to human time,
there loose your tree’s reception,
from time in parallel, thus as pointed.

Of these trees, such lifetimes spent
that see the world rush by.
Ours, for instance, scurries past, intent
on lifetimes blurring ride.
These trees, in slower gesture, gage
the ether through their day,
yet theirs, in months or years foretold,
draw slow the words they say.
StilI, I believe their hearts are instant
to worldly changes about them,
for a tree will burn or break or fall,
if instant purpose befits him.

As such, their gentler, greater reason
holds purpose to their vision,
yet time’s response chains fast their motion,
a temporally disjointed prison.
Yet their compassion runs so deep,
that for us, their honest hearts do weep.
For humankind’s transgression
is to live this life “at speed”,
focused on our appointed purpose,
and the attached immediate need.
Yet these trees, with love’s compassion,
reach slowly, thus, to show
their kindness, that shapes care for us
in simple strength of limb and bow.
For through their pain they long to reach
with love and service true,
there save our lives by presence,
there share such deeper clues…

…by river’s edge in raging flood
the willow’s arms outreached,
low and touching water’s surface,
these helping hands beseeched
by nature’s darkest moods
when waters rage and storms do brood.
How many different lives have reached
a safety shore from trees that strive
to help a drowning innocent,
keep man and beast alive,
when fortunes opportune?
Who of us in storm or strain
have ,’neath these gentle giants, remained
in warm and drying solitude,
through onslaught of a summer’s rain?

In trees I’ve heard of safety there,
where man and beast alike
were saved, by tree’s with gentle care,
in perches found throughout the night,
‘bove tumult of nature’s raging rivers,
‘beit opportune, or purpose found,
these trees’ compassion is life’s sweet giver,
but what about the souls who’ve drowned?
Souls once lost, whose last path drifted,
beyond the reach of the giant’s stance.
What cost is rendered of the pain of trees
when compassion’s lost the chance
to save a soul?

What of their pain, when all is done,
and their chance, reduced, to gather
the bodies of the lost and drowned,
when God’s called truth such. Rather
catch a soul and save a life,
than reaper’s helper,
blind with strife.

In trees at fall of sadness setting,
I’ve felt their pain, their sad regretting
that their time moves long beyond us.
Their eyes in tragedy can not change,
nor be diverted beyond the range
of where the reaper’s death lust
call’s to the will of God.

These gentle souls of silent will,
despair for us, through our ills
that disjoint us from their distance.
So many lives they share past ours,
when months and years comprise their hours,
upon histories’ repeated insistence.
Such weeping, sorrowful moans they make,
or whisper love’s ‘cantation
upon the breeze, that she might take
the pain from such libation.
And so it is, these gentle souls
hold pain for life’s sweet balance,
that begs them watch, or help, or sum,
where God’s call forms a keeper’s valance.
Such bittersweet task it seems,
for those whose fields and mountain streams
lend beauty to God’s purpose,
yet, more than love
beneath the surface…


Filed under History, Memory, Nature, Photography, Poetry

2 responses to “The Pain of Trees

  1. Wow! I need to read this again when I have more time. What an amazing story – the tree that saved a chapel!? Wow, and wow again! Thank you:-)

  2. I’m so glad you liked it. It is a true story, too. I was shocked when I heard it, in Sept 2001. And oddly enough, there was a rather large flood in my town in 1997 that took several lives, but so many were saved by the beautiful trees along the swollen waters of the creek banks. Many counted their blessings that night and thanked a tree directly. So, I was inspired.. 🙂 Thanks for checking it out. And hug your big neighborhood tree for me!

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