Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday's Poetry: "Planting a Dogwood"

by Pa Rock
Tree Hugger

Yesterday I stopped by a local gardening center and bought three small dogwood trees, two reds and a white.  Today, before the anticipated rains come, I will be selecting planting sites for the little trees and then doing the back-breaking work of digging very big holes to accommodate the new farm greenery.

With that rewarding work waiting before me, I thought that a poem about trees and tree-planting might be in order.  That criteria led me to "Planting a Dogwood" by Nebraska poet Roy Scheele.  It reminds us that for every tree which we see lifting its branches skyward, there is its twin, an ever-expanding root system, digging deeply into the dark soil to sustain the green tree growing above the ground.  (That's why I must dig such spacious holes today!)

Roy Scheele published a book of poetry in 2010 entitled A Far Allegiance.  The publisher is Backwaters Press.

Please enjoy.

Planting a Dogwood
by Roy Scheele

Tree, we take leave of you; you’re on your own.
Put down your taproot with its probing hairs
that sluice the darkness and create unseen
the tree that mirrors you below the ground.
For when we plant a tree, two trees take root:
the one that lifts its leaves into the air,
and the inverted one that cleaves the soil
to find the runnel’s sweet, dull silver trace
and spreads not up but down, each drop a leaf
in the eternal blackness of that sky.
The leaves you show uncurl like tiny fists
and bear small button blossoms, greenish white,
that quicken you. Now put your roots down deep;
draw light from shadow, break in on earth’s sleep.

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