Park Shade

Oak Stump

You grew in what became a picnic grove
Providing shade to what is now a park
While dying you were cut and when I drove
One morning past your place expecting dark
I found the stump, your tombstone, your new mark
And knew eventually that so will I
Look up with new perspective on the sky.


Text: Linked to dVerse Open Link Night hosted by Kim.  The form is called Chaucerian stanza or rime royal (or, for those who can spell better, rhyme royal).  I may use this form next week as a prompt.
I am linking this to Jilly’s October Casting Bricks Collaboration Challenge as the first half of a two stanza poem. The form is iambic pentameter with rhyme pattern ababbcc.

Photos: “Oak Stump”, above, and “Hour Walk Through Somme Woods”, below, by the author.  I am linking these to Frank Jansen’s Tuesday Photo Challenge with the theme of “hour”.  I took these during an hour walk in Somme Woods yesterday.

Hour Walk Through Somme Woods

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

104 thoughts on “Park Shade”

  1. Frank, you know how much I love trees, so your poem really touched me. I don’t like seeing stumps in parks and woodland. They should make something out of them so that we can’t see the mutilated remains of a living being. But then, I suppose, that would be a lie. either way, ii’s sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is sad. Along the walk through the forest preserve adjacent to the park there are naturally fallen trees. This one would have had that fate if it were a hundred feet further from the picnic area. Thanks, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stars are born to output and share liGht..
    at least for as long
    as they live..
    and as dim as i once
    was.. almost bLack
    of liGht..
    the saving
    grace then was
    to water a plant
    to make
    iT
    grow made
    my life still
    a star
    n0
    matter how
    dArk the candle
    i felt iN bLack
    hole
    soUl
    then.. and
    oh.. the saviors of the world..
    and a story i love to tale a little
    different as parables do.. when free
    and not imprisoned by books.. pages..
    paragraphs.. lines or words of print
    of yesternows.. bound
    by past authority
    that no
    longer should
    exist.. for free..
    so.. anyway.. sorry iF
    you already heard it but
    it will be different anyway..
    hehe.. as free WiLL be
    when unleashed
    and released
    as being
    human
    expreSsinG
    starliGht oF eYes
    within.. a dusty road..
    a little boy with no words..
    disabled from birth without
    the ability to speak.. but a lover
    of growth.. in shape of trees..
    a sapling brought home
    by loving mother
    then.. placed
    on a counter
    by a lamp that shines..
    the boys sees green and
    wants to see more.. so he
    nurtures this PLANeT
    without
    the ability
    to speak..
    water he does..
    fertilizing Love..
    Sunshine hope
    iN eYes of Loving
    Kind.. fertile ground
    outside.. dig a hole
    to comfort roots..
    spend time
    and effort
    with
    caring Love
    and the Tree rises
    broad and sTrong..
    and soon provides shade
    for the front porch home..
    Sidewalks come.. but tree
    sTill bRanches out.. Flowers
    come more beautiful than before..
    Students from the local school who
    study trees are amazed by the beauty
    of this tree.. photos are taken.. shared..
    and the boys eYes shine to see what his
    Love inspires.. tree no longer needs boy
    to grow strong now.. and the little
    boy becomes ill and his life
    goes dark..
    Years later..
    a shy young man iS
    walking this sidewalk
    of the boy’s home.. and
    a most beautiful dark haired
    girl approaches him.. with smiling
    face.. the boys eyes liGht up but what
    to say.. ah.. the center piece of conversation
    iS standing tAll and floweRinG more beautiful
    iT seems than ever before on this March Spring
    day.. a spark of instant Love is in the air..
    and that begins a Love that
    will last ’till death..
    the shy boy becomes
    confident with the Love of
    his wife.. joins the Military..
    and even rises to the ranks
    of politics then.. Love grows
    and fearless Lives..
    the boy is
    now a
    Strong man..
    and makes a decision
    as a leader of the world
    that prevents World War III…
    Life on the PlanT now iS saved..
    So who is the savior.. the boy..
    the man.. the girl.. the Loving
    wife.. the parents.. the schools
    providing education.. the tree
    or the little disabled boy
    and all the
    couple’s
    friends
    from around the
    world.. well the truth
    iS aLL they are.. as theRe
    is no i.. me but us and we
    iN
    Savior
    oF Life..
    Moral of the
    story.. water a tree
    Of Life and see wHere
    iT
    grows
    neXt
    iN ocean
    eYes free..
    True.. i already make ‘this
    story’ but as stories grow meanings change..
    A key is never ever to cut them down for every Tree is Life..
    Wven when all is left for stump to rest higher resurrecting sprig anew..:)

    iN SuMMaRY.. SMiLes Frank..:)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I see sad-looking trees in town with apologetic notices on them explaining that the municipality is going to have to cut them down because they are diseased, but they will be replaced. Sometimes it isn’t disease though, it’s vandalism.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The village removed trees around our town home for disease purposes. I could see the higher branches no longer had leaves. Vandalism could cause some damage. I wonder if some of it is caused by the exhaust from automobiles. Hybrid cars I understand will be dominant in a few years here, but all-electric or hydrogen vehicles might be a better option.

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        2. When you mentioned vandalism I thought you meant people carving the barks of the trees. I haven’t seen anyone, even children, try to climb them here or use them for fitness purposes. That does seem like strange behavior to me. Of course as a child I do remember climbing an old catalpa tree on our farm, but we only went up three feet and sat where the tree forked.

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  3. Great poem. I’m always sad to see a tree cut down. When I was a child, a storm split a young Chinese elm tree my mother had planted. My father bolted the two sides together, and so far as I know it still stands some 70 or so years later, at its heart the bolt my father used to rescue it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poignant, and filled with sabi–sorrow for the transience of life. I have to confess, however, that I thought of Sheldon Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”–especially the final lines, in which the boy (now an old man) sits on the stump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It should be next Thursday although it is still tentative. The rhyme royal does have a pleasing sound. I can see why Chaucer liked it. I will include this poem as a first half for your October collaboration challenge when the post is ready. Thanks, Jilly!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was thinking something similar standing by the stump. I also thought of transformation into a new perspective on reality and wondered what that would be like and what the sky would look like from a new perspective. Thank you!

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        1. I use a microphone attached to my laptop. I suspect I could use my phone, but I haven’t tried it. I also use Audacity which helps control the noise level and normalize the sound. That software is free to download and is relatively simple to use.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. This one could have probably lived longer, but it was near the picnic area and its dying branches provided a hazard. In the forest, a few hundred feet away, it would have fallen eventually. Thank you, Sanaa!

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    1. The Chaucerian stanza or rime royal is one of my favorite forms. It can break down into three smaller poems, the first with three lines and then two couplets, or merge together. I am glad you liked this!

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  5. We’ve been throwing around this concept of wabi-sabi, and perhaps this is the perfect example of it. Impermanence. Sad, but everything ends. I live in Atlanta which is called the “City of Trees”. Developers are taking them down 100’s of acres a day. It’s tragic. However, we heat with a woodstove , our only source of heat so we look for the wood. Husbanding trees and the landscape is important. That looks like a wonderful place to sit and think, that stump, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this tree should have been removed especially for safety purposes. I used to burn wood for heat when living in Maine. I would prefer taking wood from an alder coppice. No splitting needed. Cutting them just encouraged them to grow more shoots which in a few years could be harvested again. Plus there were plenty of dead trees in the maple and hemlock forest that could be used. They required splitting. It is amazing today that I don’t even think of the central heating adjusting the temperature of the house except to change an air filter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That IS amazing! We bought a splitter last year and we salvaged a lot of downed trees. We should do the same this year but my husband is working too many days and hours. Actually, I am going to try and split some wood this fall. First time using a splitter. Didn’t know that at all aobut alder trees. Don’t have them in the south, I think. maple, oaks, hickory we have and good wood that is. I think we are getting too old to do this every year, but we have the machinery now, and a new chipper. We have a lot of money invested in these things. I love wood heat and we have ONE woodstove that heats the entire house (sorta). the house is constructed openly. But I would love the convience of electric or gas heat. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve helped a neighbor split wood with a wood splitter, but I did not use one of these for my own firewood. Mostly I didn’t need to split the wood since it was already small and fit into the wood cook stove. The hardest part was moving the wood from the forest to the house. I used a garden wheelbarrow along a woods trail. It was one of those carts made out of plywood with bicycle wheels on the side. It worked well, but it took time. The house was well insulated with thermal windows. That helped cut down on the need for firewood. Some old farm houses are very drafty. If you see icicles hanging from the eaves then the roof could use insulation. Those days are long in the past, decades ago, for me, when I was doing forestry work.

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  6. Lovely poem, Frank. Sad and poignant. I like the rhyme scheme.
    When a bunch of trees came down at a friend’s house during a tornado, they made the stumps into stools. She has a large backyard that flows into a nature area woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one probably should have been cut down because it was near the picnic shelter, but it is sad nonetheless. Trees a few hundred feet around it in the forest preserve would have been left to fall on their own. Thank you, Sascha!

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