The Greening of the Birch

1 06 2013

She rises now, into the sky, in green and white perfection,
not knowing how, or caring why… embracing her connection.
Such grace and truth, in natures yield, shared upon the earth.
The face of youth, in every field, such rare and timeless worth.

While mother birch, lay fast asleep, through frigid silver nights,
the willow first, began to creep, her way towards the light.
Her furry limbs, caressed the sun, and drank in all that power,
as spring begins – now one by one – each bud begins to flower.

As summer starts, the green becomes, the flowers burst and bloom.
There is such art, in scenes undone, of winters thirst and gloom.
While beauty rested, under snow – a million gleaming points,
our flesh was tested – as she sows – where frost and ice anoints.

Now I sit, amongst that green, amazed again by truth.
This hurried fit, and sacred scene, I find solace… in that youth.
I cannot voice, the things I see, now flowing through the air,
there is no choice – in things so free – or knowing of despair.

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19 responses

1 06 2013
Sandy

I saw the seasons change through that! It’s funny, I went out to a rural farmer’s market today, and couldn’t help but remark about how beautiful and green everything has become. Nature – we can learn so much by observing it’s wonder! Much Love, Sandy

1 06 2013
birchpoet

We have gone from snow to green in the last two weeks here. Nature is a wonder indeed! Much love right back.

3 06 2013
Charron's Chatter

do you just FEEL that connection to the birch…I do about big cats…and a lot of things, but wow. I feel like I am reading a prodigal son’s poem. 🙂

3 06 2013
birchpoet

I do feel that connection, yes, to most of nature, but I have a certain affinity for the birch and willow. One makes sugar, and one sprouts live boughs from dead trunks-what’s more miraculous than that?

A prodigal son, though? Not this guy-more like the one who stayed at home, though more forgiving and understanding than he was(I hope…). Most assuredly not the prodigal, asking for his inheritance and returning when it was gone and he found himself as an indentured servant. Admittedly, I would probably not have had the grace, divine love, and mercy of God at that point, though I would have let him sleep on the floor, or in the manger, like Jesus. That is the moral of the third parable, as I understand it, but lent is over anyway, and nature is unforgiving, as a rule. 😉

Thanks for reading Karen and congrats on your article being published.

3 06 2013
Charron's Chatter

aww thanks, Birch man. It was the biggest dillio to date–3200 views! I am very excited about it.

And i prolly spoke to off the cuff, vis a vis prodigal son–I only have a sketchy grip on the story, and did not mean it in a bad way–meant it more like the son who goes off into the world, and then returns to the source…so, I best brush up on it all before reference.

umm…is it the birch that sprouts living from dead? Cause that is pretty cool. 🙂

4 06 2013
birchpoet

You should be excited-that is most excellent! Soon you’ll be brunching with Matt Lauer!

No worries, K, I knew you weren’t being derogatory, I just have several prodigal siblings and didn’t want to be confused with them… 🙂

The Prodigal Son is the last of the three parables of Jesus in the New Testament. The prodigal son asks for his inheritance, gets it, leaves, spends it unwisely, becomes a swine herd, and finally returns home where he is welcomed home warmly by his father, who shows the divine love and forgiveness of God by his actions. WWJD??? That. This is where ‘Killing the fattened calf’ comes from, which the father orders the loyal son who stayed home and worked to do, for a feast for the vagabond son. The loyal son was the oldest, and would eventually get his fathers lands anyway. (in a nutshell, minus the thee’s and thou’s)

Sugar birch(red, white, silver for instance-we have 5 species here) produce sugar in their sap(2-4%) to leaf out in the spring just like the sugar maples. It can be cooked down(about 80-1, so it’s a long process) to syrup or candy, or fermented to make alcohol. In Asia it is taken as a curative, in it’s pure form-it doesn’t have much of a shelf life, but it is very refreshing. 🙂 I use the syrup as a glaze for fish and poultry, mixed with a little brown sugar and Lea & Perrins. It is quite singular, and I love the smell when it’s cooking.

The Bebb willow, for one, dies from the trunk, but provides nutrients to offshoots. Also, if you cut one down, the stump will grow new shoots, much like the Aspen. I carve diamond willow, which you may have seen-they are very popular for walking sticks. The diamonds are caused by a disease. There are also teardrops and other natural designs in some willows which are formed the same way.

4 06 2013
brian miller

wow…really nice rhythm to this…and through the seasons life does not go away, it is cultivated for the next season…nice use of italics for emphasis as well…they almost tell a story themselves….of worth and realization that comes in knowing life…and even despair…

5 06 2013
birchpoet

Thanks for reading Brian. I’ll be by tomorrow to read.

4 06 2013
Laurie Kolp

Lovely rhythm throughout… I especially like the last stanza. I, too, feel touched by nature.

5 06 2013
birchpoet

Thanks for stopping by Laurie. I’m just getting home from work, but I will stop by yours tomorrow. 🙂

5 06 2013
birchpoet

After reading your contribution, I can see you really have been touched by nature. LOL. Way to shrug off the bad shit, Laurie-kudos. 🙂

5 06 2013
Laurie Kolp

Haha… glad you got it. = )

4 06 2013
Truedessa

This is such a lovely nature poem..I can feel the elements within the words.

5 06 2013
birchpoet

Thanks so much for reading. Glad you liked it. 🙂

4 06 2013
M. J. Joachim

Beautiful!

5 06 2013
birchpoet

Thanks M.J. I’ll stop by tomorrow to read at yours. 🙂

5 06 2013
Beth Winter

This is beautiful. I love the imagery. Because of your formatting, I read very nearly two poems in one by reading down the second half of each line on the right side apart from the left. I don’t know if that was your intent but I’m quite impressed.

5 06 2013
birchpoet

I’m so happy you noticed this, Beth. 🙂 The second half(right) is not as complete as the first, as I tried to keep the rhythm and meter consistent, which was problematic with this format.
Once I started, I couldn’t resist completing it this way, as two separate thoughts, joined together, expressing one theme in the poem, when read simply, as it is written. The overall imagery of the poem is that of new beginnings from old, summer from winter, the seasons change, and the overall majesty and blindly perpetual process of mother nature. I tried to show the two sides of that coin. No emotions or needs, she just is. I find great wonder in nature, and I’m very glad you got this. Wonderful! 🙂

Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Beth. This made my day!

6 06 2013
Ishaiya

Beautiful and clever. I too have an affinity with the Birch.

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