It’s magic to watch our poets-in-residence work a classroom, and magic to see what comes from their efforts. Here are some poems from fifth- and sixth-graders, inspired by resident poets, that get deep into the business of trees.
To The Mysterious Tree That Resides In My Front Yard
Your mottled limbs,
stretching up in impossible motions.
channeling the whistling wind.
Your thick bark,
with tiny canyons and crevasses,
offers footholds for tree-climbing
on the warm days during the summer months,
when you can feel the life in you
just by touching your surface.
Your green leaves
flap with the breeze in spring,
glow with the sun in summer,
flutter onto the sidewalk below during autumn,
and in winter,
Your sturdy trunk curves gracefully,
ever reaching towards the clouds,
merging with both sun and rain,
in spite of heat
You hold your leafy head high,
defying all the elements that fight to uproot you,
until the day the pieces of green and yellow,
red and brown,
will sink down to the ground,
to be reborn in spring
when the cycle begins again .
– Adrianna G. (6th grade)
from your moss gilded trunk
three writhing limbs surge upwards
long scaly protrusions jut outward
from your diamond patterned limbs
ferns march slowly up the lacerated backside
of your limbs
towards the clouded sky
your thick bark keeps out the cold and wind
North Face can’t make such a jacket
if Polartec had a chance they’d skin you for your bark
it would take a thousand strands of lights
to truly do you justice
and a million ornaments to decorate your limbs
– Calder W. (6th grade)
King of Trees
You are the master of the stars
the bringer of the sun,
you are the mighty oak.
You have seen a million years
and one billion years
reaches above the clouds,
and is engraved with the markings
of old age,
yet your heart
has the memories of better times.
You lost your leaves centuries ago
and you only have a few branches,
but why do the other trees look up to you?
Only nature knows.
As you stand watching over the world.
– Will M. (5th grade)