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Sherry Gail Heim

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Life Circles (Jerry's Septcouplet)
by Sherry Gail Heim
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Sherry Gail Heim
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"The Septcouplet consists of seven free-style verses, with six lines each, no syllable count. After each verse there are two lines which rhyme, with four syllables in each line. The style is in all lowercase, punctuation when needed inside the lines, but none at the end of lines..."

Not an easy format, Jerry...but it offers a lot of freedom in the verses. I am not sure I did this right, but it was a good challenge, thank you-sgh..

Life Circles  (Jerry’s Septcouplet)


ancient oak giant of her species

magical lady of the bosque

once she bordered the rio grande

but a road was needed there

so they moved the river over a-piece

and left the oak as the guardian of the arroyo


she’s just a tree

but more to me


she fed the squirrels

and gave shade to the geese

a favorite spot for a picnic

a learning tree for the native children

beneath her boughs a rut between her roots

many a day I would rest there and watch the sunset


this sage of trees

against the breeze


it was perhaps two hundred years ago, maybe more

that a determined acorn buried herself deep

the rains came and soaked the ground

and from that tiny seed a mighty oak was born

the sun bathed the seedling, her roots reached down deep

her strength and will to survive defying all odds


great lessons taught

elements fought


she survived fires and drought

her arms bear the tattoos of lovers long gone

she recalls the voices of children

who nestled in her boughs and napped

while mothers washed clothes in the swift-flowing river

she knew all of life in her quiet spot beside the arroyo


drink in sun beams

sleep ‘neath moonbeams


more than a tree she was a nursery for generations

each sturdy limb supporting nests awaiting new arrivals

her life sustaining fruits fed her feisty chipmunks

her peaks a peaceful watchtower for hawks and crows

for all that she took from the earth, she gave back more

her beauty and grace a blessing to all who happened by


mother to all

staunch and tall


today I walked to speak with her

my mother, the mighty, aged oak

i found her in pieces laying on the ground

no need for a staunch oak tree anymore

replaced by a flexible willow

of which many now lined the arroyo


shes lost to me

mighty oak tree


weeping as I sat looking at her life circles

stained with sap, dripping her blood tears across the rings

a life senselessly sacrificed for a more progressive look

she was the only testament to all that had happened there

yet she didn’t fit the design of the new landscape

man had again destroyed what he could not tame


life cast aside

history died


Sherry Gail Heim

January 15, 2006

Copyright © Sherry Gail Heim 2006

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Reviewed by Kate Clifford 11/4/2006
Sadly this often happens and saw it happen in my own neighhour within the last two years. The positive is that many people where upset by this......there is a time no voice would be heard.......We are getting closer to our desires. This is a great natural history write!
Reviewed by Michelle Mills 11/4/2006
Oh my gracious, how very sad. This is a powerful pen that stirs the reader's soul. I was in an antique store recently and found an old box from the Civil War. It was used by a corporal, and dragged around from battle to battle. If the box could speak, imagine the stories it would have...a plethora of them like the tree in this poem. Great write. Blessings, Michelle
Reviewed by Nadia Giordana 11/3/2006
Not a commonly used format but very effective! Bravo.
Reviewed by Connie Hinnen Cook 2/6/2006
Beautiful, brilliant and powerful. Wow!
Reviewed by Elaine Carey 2/4/2006
I love this! So wistful and expressive. I'm crazy about oak trees, too.
Reviewed by SilverCeltic Moon 2/4/2006
I really liked this! Great story poem. ;) Silver
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 1/31/2006
Oh Sherry, this is just outstanding, I love the Giant Oaks, they are my favorite tree, how many times I have lain in their branches as a child and dreamed. This is so very powerful and excellent. Just really hit home with me. Progress indeed. I think when we forget to honor nature and all that she has endured, it is a step backwards!

Loved this.

Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 1/24/2006
Too, too sad. But what a wonderful tribute! Aren't trees wonderful?!
When they cleared the land out back {purely for profit{, the trees
screamed as they were torn apart and tossed aside. I thought I was going to lose my mind. They s c r e a m e d, I swear. Thank you
for writing this, and for being who you are. 'Pea' <3
Reviewed by Mocha Sistah 1/22/2006
beautiful things, lines, wonderful verses! Very inspirational.
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 1/22/2006
hello Sherry, nice and very interesting poetry
Reviewed by Lori Moore 1/21/2006
Beautiful poetry, Sherry. I love the images.
Reviewed by Only A Poet 1/21/2006
truly enjoyed this with its real images and interesting form
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 1/20/2006
Wonderful poetry. Challenge expertly met in my opinion. I love trees and this is a loving homage to them, Sherry. Thank you for sharing this gift. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson 1/18/2006
Bravo Sherry! This is brilliant!
Reviewed by Mark Rockeymoore 1/17/2006
the contemplation of nature is a means of transcending the rush of thoughts, and coming close to the eternal. this write is an ecological tale of life and death, of convenience vs tradition. the form was interesting, i might have to try something like that myself!
Reviewed by Sandie Angel 1/17/2006

This is superbly-written! I should try this format too sometimes.

Lucky Star Sandie May Angel :o)
Reviewed by William Bonilla 1/16/2006
This is outsatnding Sherry

Love & Peace
Reviewed by Paul Williams 1/16/2006
A poignant message delivered superbly Sherry, this is certainly one of your finest, the last two lines are sublime.

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/16/2006
Powerfully, emotionally penned excellence...this form looks fantastic on you! You've done Jerry proud. :) Well done, Sherry!

(((HUGS))) and love, karla.
Reviewed by Bennett 1/16/2006
Life circles is deinitely well expressed and this is all so true as we travel the journey of life. keep God close to you and he will help you bless others through your writing and God bless.
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 1/16/2006
Sherry you sure is a glutton for punishment... what was that awful thing I sucked you into a while back??!! But the thing is, you're just sooooo damn goood at these tough assignments. I think this is truly one of your finest writes - and that from a long list of finely honed and crafted poems. You have applied yourself in every domain to the task in hand here and the result is stunning at every level. A perfectly executed work which will stand the test of time... and as a fitting tribute to your subject whose spirit cannot be quenched. TY and bless you, Kate xx
Reviewed by Barbara Terry 1/16/2006
Sherry, this is a very sad poem, because everytime someone gets an idea for "progress", nature suffers. When nature suffers, then humankind suffers as well. Oak tress are scattered here and there throughout our country, but don't line the boulevard like they used to. Thnx for sharing, sis. May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love inmy heart, maybe too stubborn for my own good, joy to the world, peace on earth, & ((((((((((MANY WONDERFUL SISTERLY HUGGGGSSSS)))))))))), your still very sad and very terrified little sister, Barbie

"If I have to be this girl in me, then I have the right to be."
Reviewed by J M 1/16/2006
Beautiful poetry I think you have caught on to the form very well.
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 1/16/2006
You don't write often (enough) but when you do, it's for sure a gift to all that read you.
Nature is also a gift, a gift from the Creator to us, to enjoy, to embrace. If they keep tearing down and replacing it with more concrete and steel, pretty soon the only part of nature that is going to be left is the sunrise and set...Can they destroy that too? They may not be able to remove it, but they can surely fill the air with so much pollution that one can't see it anymore...
Thank you for sharing this Sherry...this is wonderful.

Reviewed by Ronald Hull 1/15/2006
As you know, I'm attracted to old oaks, too. The redwoods, too have a special place in my heart. Come to think of it, we didn't descend from the trees but have always needed their food and shade. Any tree that's lived beyond sapling is good enough for me to ponder and mourn when cut down.

Reviewed by Ron (sketchman) Axelson 1/15/2006
everyone has already said so much..
This is just too great!
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 1/15/2006
Oh My goodness this was truly a great write!!

Brought tears to my eyes even though it was only a tree...not even known by touched me!!

Jerry will enjoy this I am sure!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by jude forese 1/15/2006
nature should not be modified but nurtured ... mankind imagines it knows what's best as far as nature's esthetics are concerned but its way off base most of the time. your poem eloquently evaluates the before and after when the mighty oak has sucuumbed to a weeping willow ... the metaphoric quality of a weeping willow works so naturally with the circumstance ... excellent crafted in this unusual format ...
Reviewed by Peter Paton 1/15/2006
You have mastered that which prime facie looks a very difficult format Sherry
More than that you have infused a vein of raw emotion and history throughout these seven linked verses
You obviously put a lot of hard work and thought into this perfect piece, what you have to do, if you want to do your best !
Reviewed by Felix Perry 1/15/2006
So true this one is, how often do we fail to see these treasuries of memory that have stood beside us as our life support systms, our protection from the weather, our food etc and then when they are suddenly gone we are shocked.

Reviewed by Aberjhani 1/15/2006
Thank you this extraordinary fusion of literary artistry, spirituality, and natural history. LIFE CIRCLES makes a powerful statement about how we too often put our priorities and values in the wrong place, destroying not just things but the very essence of what makes life sacred and meaningful.
Reviewed by E T Waldron 1/15/2006
Sherry when you put your gifted hand to something I know it's going to be outstanding! This is as close to perfection as one can get! I love everything about this poem! I'm sure Jerry will be pleased!;-)

Reviewed by Sherry Heim 1/15/2006

Reviewed by George Carroll 1/15/2006

This is a sad testament to what is happening today and will continue into the future. I'm not aware of this format but it does look challenging and you have mastered it so well.
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