Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Tree

No Tree

A field next to the freeway.
A treehouse with no tree,

just a pole, seven or so boards
nailed to the pole for stairs.

Who is this birdhouse for,
an only childhouse, a father

for his sonhouse, for his two
girl cousins who like to climb.

No tree now. Most likely, not
even before. Someone owns

this place, the green field,
the hut up there, the view

of cars driving by without
slowing. How does this work,

who does the house belong to.
The man who made it, who is

gone. His boy, whose weight
the ladder can’t hold anymore,

the snow and ice that live with
the house in winter like a virus,

or the field, calling the wood
back to its flat nest, the cool earth.


  1. Your alchemy today echos the smooth heavy feeling of the artwork just wonderfully. Funny, when I look at that picture my shoulders feel weighted down and full of lead. Do you feel it, too?

  2. "the snow and ice that live with
    the house in winter like a virus" those are the words that will stick with me today. I never thought of snow and ice as being like a virus.

  3. You took me back to woods in Knoxville, TN. When I roamed the woods around my apt I would always come across abandoned homes, shacks, invaded by trees but I knew someone was there long time ago or maybe only hours ago. The kudzu covered everything, the moss, the earth half swallowed these homes. This I never see in CA!!

    lovely lovely poem


  4. Remarkable installations by the artist who inspired this poem.

  5. Great imagery, although it reminds me of symbolist work too (in a good way). Groovy blog:)

  6. I love the virus line.

    Recently, I had occasion to drive up an old lane to a house where there was an ancient treehouse sagging in a half dead tree. It looked like its heyday could have been no more recently than the 80s, maybe even the 70s. I couldn't help but wonder, whose treehouse was it? Did they love it and have fun in it? Where are those grown children now? Do they ever think of their old forlorn place?

  7. "How does this work," you say, and isn't that one of your major themes? I like it. And here's one more vote for the virus line.

  8. I like the feeling of time in this.

  9. ok, I read this, and I like this a lot. I'm really big on images, and this one has them galore. A couple of things: did you mean to leave out all question marks? Also, sometimes we can leave out the word 'like.' So I might have said 'snow and ice, a virus that lives'. But all in all this is a wonderful poem.


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