tried a hundred twenty times
and still cannot find a rhyme
to write about you
and everything you do
wrote about trees and wrote books
and still cannot write the way you look
from the way you carelessly smile
to your suspiciously gleaming eyes
effortlessly described the smell of rain
and listed every one of life's pains
yet cannot rationalize all the good in you
along with the bad that still shine through
yet everytime i write about you
the ink in my hands stay still and blue
and my thoughts cannot go through
You're beyond the bounds of possibility
that i cannot fathom into reality
The warehouse of my mind is empty.
Muted blues, like a Miles Davis groove,
begin to fill the dusky expanse.
Deep purples, plums and cherries,
a hint of vermilion,
all flow down onto the floor of my consciousness.
The colors, each separated from the other,
swirl and drain into a wormhole that has formed
in the floor.
My consciousness follows.
I enter a place filled with bicycles, skateboards,
fireflies, honeysuckle, super heroes and pets.
Scenery flashes by in rapid-fire succession like trees
on the side of the side of the road when I was a little
kid with my head hanging out of the car window
until my mom yelled at me to put my head back in
the car, were it belonged.
The way I speak
In the car in the morning, or under trees
Is swathed in darkness
My words build walls and facades
And cunning passages, contrived corridors
Deceit, whispered ambitions
I'm dispensing my secrets
But dispensing too soon, or too late
Into weak hands
Or disbelief or indifference
Or until their refusal to look me in the eyes propagates a fear
That no amount of courage on my part could ever dissipate
I'm covered in locks
Inside and out
But no one has the keys
And I am not beautiful enough
For anyone to bother trying
Grab my bike
and wheel it out
into the driveway.
Snap of my helmet
Mount and push off,
and it feels like flying.
the bumpy ground.
Arms are red and itchy
Puck walks along the trail
and I pedal next to him
until he stops
and I look behind and se
him standing erect,
noble, looking out onto
Dad comes out with
a brush and calls
and she patiently
stands still as he brushes her,
puffs of white fur
fluffing behind and
coating the grass.
Green is thriving
trees are waltzing against the
Dandelions peek through
and biking past the window
in the kitchen
I smell taco seasoning
wafting throught the air.
with my dad playing
and my sister biking ahead of me,
wind whipping my face
my mom in the kitchen,
it suddenly makes sense,
and why we live in the
I've climbed my world of trees today,
Before they had to go their way.
Before the sunlight met the sea,
Each tree I saw called out to me.
The green green tree with boughs of steel
Was pure and utterly ideal.
And I climbed quick as a whippoorwill
Springing from the window seal.
I climbed it grand, and oh, so high-
Through the thrush's song, and a robin's cry.
Through the deepest green that caught the day,
And promised to steal me away.
And I climbed a Monkey Puzzle Tree
As old as half a tree can be.
And it laughed to see me rustle through
Branches old and branches new.
I sailed through leaves as soft as lent,
Where spiral blossoms lept to play
Fragrant little games of chance
Within the haunt of their bouquet.
When the tall, tall, red tree called my name,
The one with pepper blossoms high,
And since no two trees are the same
I followed this one to the sky.
Up through branches bathed in light,
And down through tunnels in the bark,
I climbed this one with all my might,
Through the gray and winding dark.
Until I found my afternoon
Still waiting for me like the day.
I gave the tree a bit of heart
And watched it as it sailed away.
And there, beyond the Tin Tin Tree,
Where apple roses blossomed grand,
I noticed resting on its knee
The finest tree to ever stand.
A hundred, hundred trees in one,
Would be an awful lot of fun
Just to take a branch today
And rest the afternoon away,
But, Oh, I had to climb it high,
As high as God could make a sky.
I had to see the stars that He
With clever skill hid well from me.
I had to touch the setting sun,
Under my after-evening's shroud,
So up I went, through branches, bows,
Crossing leaves that laughed aloud.
Leaves that seemed to know my name,
That weaved their winding whispers through
That starlit flicker of a flame
I tried but could not look into.
I swung from branches tapped by age,
That creaked and echoed such a sigh-
The feathered leaves that rustled calm,
And I so briefly saw my sky.
There I paused and held my own,
My heart like thunder in my chest.
And I watched the quiet of the day
Paint ribbons in a robin's nest
And scatter shades of blue and red
Like waves upon my quiet sea,
And those threaded vines of dragons head
That weaved in through my Shadow Tree.
The morning bowed to afternoon,
As if to nature's sole command,
And shades and shadows drifted by
That secret place I chose to stand.
There were stars that climbed each peasant branch,
Stars that whispered to the breeze
That beat a hymn of ages past,
Known only to the trees.
Will-O'-The-Wisp's sang through the leaves
And danced about the sapwood sprig,
Darting here and pausing there,
Between each shadowed, lively twig,
Where EverNettles bright as dreams
Climbed deep inside the deadwood bark,
And called their young ones earnestly
To the safety of the dark.
And finally spent I caught my breath,
And peeled the spindly leaves away,
And waved my arms into the breeze
That sang the silvered songs of day.
There was a different world below,
A land of hills and river beds,
Of trees as tiny as the grass,
And roads smaller than the finest threads.
I reached out into the velvet sky
To run my fingers through the day,
Where the sandy silk of autumn brushed
The stardust noon had tossed my way.
And I breathed in all the wonder there -
All I could hear and feel and see,
Whatever wonder dared to share
From the branches of my Shadow Tree.
Copyright © 2013 Richard D. Remler
"There is always Music amongst the trees in
the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet
to hear it."
This thought I think
Is mine to plant,
Mine to grow,
Mine to grant.
If the thought grows
Into a sturdy tree
It can last forever
In all eternity.
All from a simple thought
Made by me.
Under the tree
We shiver we sway
Beams of moonlight
Collected each day.
Hoping for another tree
To come my way.
To combine our trees
Into a hearty fort.
No longer hiding
We've made our port.
All from a simple thought
Made by me.
On a pale winter's moon
when all do sleep
the birds come out
Dark night to greet
then they climb
with gentle feet
On top of trees,
wing and beak
lungs to fill
with precious air
With all their might
the lonely birds
that sings at night
trees open their hands
to welcome home
the voice of
their sweet melodies
September warmth is in the air,
That playful tapping
Of the breeze
As it winds its way
Through the laurel trees
That line Eastwind,
Up over the cobbled stone
Of Mr. Willow's
Sarsparilla Soda Shoppe.
And there he is,
Outside his storefront
Sweeping away leaves
And late afternoon
Jabe's running around
Like a bobber,
Up and about the yard,
Kicking at the nectarine tree
And demanding it
Drop its sword
And Annie tells on him
Pointing all the while,
Letting Momma know Jabe's
Gonna get himself hurt
Again if that tree
Ever gets mad.
And Dad's outside
Cleaning the windshield on the car,
Eying every streak he misses
And then giving it a name
I'm not supposed to ever say.
He hits the car again
With the garden hose
And washes her off,
Suds and soap splashing
Against the concrete
Of the driveway
As Momma hollers out
At Jabe to get his rear end
Back in the house
And get himself ready.
I go in and change my shirt.
It's hot, the best kind of hot,
And the sky is clear,
And the Summer air smells
Like a barbeque. The best
Parts of Summer always seem
To come when you're heading
Into other things - and if you
Don't keep your wits about you,
You'll miss 'em. They'll just
Wisp away like dew in the
Morning. So I get a clean shirt,
Change my shoes,
And grab my sweater
And head out.
And there's Momma holding
Onto Jabe's hand, and he's
Not too pleased. And Annie
Is holding her SusieQ Doll
And wondering about the fuss,
And Dad's smiling and shutting
The hose off and finishing those
Last few brushes across the
In just moments we're all tucked in,
Windows all rolled down,
Heading up the highway away
From the sun. Momma's got
Her pointy sunglasses on, and she's
Holding her hand out into the wind
Like a movie star. And Dad's
Shifting gears and putting his arm
Around Momma, and I see
Airplanes taking off not too far away
In an open field, those kind you pay
Three dollars for a ride on, and
They swoop you over the town
And you get to see everything lit up,
And you get to puke in a paper sack.
But that's not where we're going.
Dad just drives right on by, and
We watch as the planes and their
Pilots and the little fat kid with the red
Hair disappear into the haze.
Further up the road the lights of the town
Gently flicker away, and the sun
Rests over the horizon, and stars
Peek out overhead one by one, watching
Us I suppose, keeping an eye on the
Shiny not so new car with the three
Streaks across the windshield Dad
And the wind picks up just a little,
Still warm, still alive. And I stick my head
Out the window just to get the wind rushing
Across my face, through my hair.
Nothing like wind racing through your hair,
I thought. And I was right.
The horns brought me back to reality,
And up ahead I saw cars waiting in line,
And there was laughter, and the long
Tall green wooden fence lined the road
Half way to forever and back again.
Inside giant white unpainted signs
Stared at you, and as we pulled up
To the old man smoking on what was
Once a cigarette, he asked how many
And Dad said two adults three kids
And the old man peeked at us inside
And Dad paid a few dollars and we drove
Inside. Slowly, up and down and up again,
Like a sea of black asphalt. And Annie
Dad finally parked, and the car was
Facing up, like it was reaching up
Into the sky, except that the big white
Signboard was in our way. And outside
People were happy, had their radio's on,
Jumping, running. Other kids were there,
And we wanted to get out and run around too,
But Momma said hell no. And Dad kissed Momma
And got out and left us, and the dark grew,
And I breathed in the scent of hot dogs and
Cotton Candy and Popcorn and Pretzels and
French Fries and Hamburgers and it was
Seemed like forever since Dad had left,
And Momma got out and hoisted up a metal
Box onto the back window right beside me,
And then she got back inside and closed her
Window some. Annie asked Momma what
We were waiting for, and Jabe shoved his
Sling-Shot into my ribs and said "Stick 'em up."
And I took it away and tossed it into the front
Seat, and he cried.
Then the giant posterboard lit up some, and
Mentioned a snack bar, and I wanted to go.
After that they showed a Popeye cartoon,
And Dad made it back in time to give us all
Something to eat, say shut up, and take his seat
I'd never seen a screen so big. Never knew Popeye
Could punch Bluto and still be nice to Whimpy.
And we laughed, and the warm wind tapped against
The car, and radio's quieted down, and everyone
Was drawn to the giant picture. And we laughed.
Annie and Jabe were both asleep by the time
Dorothy made it back home. And she was telling
Aunty Em all about where she'd been, what she'd
Done. And they rolled a bunch of names,
And Dad said so how'd you like the drive-in?
And I stared at the big screen with bright,
Wide eyes, wanting more,
I didn't want the words to stop,
The story to end.
All I said was that's the biggest tv I ever saw.
And it was. And I was right.
And I guess that's when Dad
Had to laugh at me again.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
Readily apparent to me
It's forest we can't see
For the trees
Illusory obstacles manifest
Limiting what we see
The questions we pose
Can be our Tokoyo Rose
-Azrael Always James
© Copyright 2013