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Leland Waldrip

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Can't See The Forest For The Trees
by Leland Waldrip
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Leland Waldrip
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           >> View all 299


Oaks, wondrous, such variety seen —
American Turkey, Red, Bluejack,
Chestnut, Cork and Evergreen,
Brash, Post, Iron and Black,

Box White, Overcup and Laurel,
Swamp, Pin, California Black,
Scarlet, Live, Possum, Shingle,
Spanish, Scrub and Jack.

Oaks attract many woods creatures,
Caterpillars, all summer, munch,
Birds find most intriguing features,
Check leaves for wormy lunch.

When season changes, fall of year,
Acorns mature, stems break, they drop.
Mouse, chipmunk, turkey, bear, deer,
Love essential fat of oaken crop.

oplars are gorgeous, trunks so round,
Straight arrow, a hundred feet tall,
Yellow-green tulips cover ground,
On top, woodlark trills divine call.

Beeches, regal, uniform smooth,
Like taut canvas, gray-green bark,
Love, century aged, sworn truth,
Heart, “John + Mary,” left mark.

Maples, stately wood for desk or bed,
Norway, Ash-leaved, Big-leaf and Pie,*
Dwarf, Mountain, Goosefoot and Red,
Moosewood, Silver and Bird's-eye,

Oregon, Great and Mountain Alder,
Rock, Pointed-leaf, Striped Dogwood,
Scarlet, Swamp, Vine and Box Elder,
Rocky-Mountain and Sugarwood.*

And there are ashes, pines and birches,
Of numerous varieties, a startling array,
Fir and spruce, like steepled churches,
Hemlock cathedrals where some might pray.

But there’s something about a hickory tree
That brings my senses to finest pitch,
Many varieties of this American honoree,
Known for tool handles — resilient and rich.

Strongest fiber, pliable, distinctive smell, bark,
Its cells are dense, very tight to split apart,
Shagbark, Bitternut, Nutmeg, and Shellbark,
Big-bud, Water, Mockernut, and White-Heart,

Black, Swamp, Pignut, and Brown,
But my all-time favorite — King Nut.
Dollar-sized nuts fall to ground,
Harvest quickly or squirrels will cut.

Other bushes, shrubs, grass and weed,
Vines tie trees together, harboring tangles,
The forest, hordes of denizens feed,
Flesh and fiber, ecology embrangles.

Can’t see the forest for the trees,
Absorbed by innate majesty in each,
Checking its profile and pedigrees,
Oak, some kind of maple or beech.

Yes, I’ve trouble seeing the forest,
As I concentrate on a single tree,
But I know it’s home for all the rest,
And spiritual revival for me.

© 2004 R. Leland Waldrip

* Pie and sugarwood may be colloquial names for the sugar maple.

Rappahannock Books
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Reviewed by Robert Blackwell (Reader) 3/7/2004
"I think that I shall never see,
A poem as lovely as a tree...."

Until today. Nature certaily did herself proudly when she made so many trees, and you crafted a superb poem in naming them.
Reviewed by Simon Thurlow (Reader) 2/29/2004
Leland, you should have been a teacher in life for I have learnt so much from your writes down the months since I first came to AD
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 2/28/2004
Deep in the woods write L. I love the out doors also. In my home town the trees are lovely during the spring, and summer and fall. Of course man destroys quite a few natural wonders. Take care G
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 2/25/2004
Yes, you are immersed in them. I can't believe your knowledge of these gentle giants, sustainers of the planet.
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 2/24/2004
This was so beautiful, just lovely, really enjoyed this wonderful poem, this afternoon,

Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 2/23/2004
Beautifully penned - a great work!
Reviewed by andrea coltman 2/23/2004
Beautiful wishes Andrea
Reviewed by Debashish Haar (Reader) 2/23/2004
Leland, this is another masterful poem from your pen...
Reviewed by Kenny Baez 2/23/2004
what a cornucopia of wonder, and the names of all the oaks were poetic in themselves. Lovely poem! joe
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 2/23/2004
Oh Leland, I enjoyed reading your ode to trees so very much!!! Mother Nature and I thank you! Wonderful write!
Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 2/23/2004
So true...I enjoy the trees and all their magnificent glory. They are a lifeforce and toxic cleaner that make breathing easier. Wonderful write.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 2/23/2004
Wow!!.....and not one noisy-beetle?

Wonderful tree write Leland........reminded me of the song 'I talk to the trees" and no one listens to me!!

Love You Tinka
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 2/23/2004
Thank God for trees. They have and are sheltering, majestic and awesome. They also give of themselves for humanns to build their houses which they cherish, not to mention a young lad's smile when he is given his very own baseball bat. Not trying to be disrespectful here, Leland, just realistic. Fine tribute to our noble friends.
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 2/23/2004
Leland, this is a great write! Before I was through reading I too could see the forest! Thanks for sharing! Lisa
Reviewed by Pamela Kimmell 2/23/2004
Ah Yes Leland....the beauty of Virginia captured again in your lines! I love trees too and although our house is surrounded by trees, we still have managed to plant about 20 more...can't have too many - their infinite variety and beauty are well captured in your poetry. As Kate said, "May we always have too many".....

Reviewed by Carmen Ruggero 2/23/2004
I love trees too. I learned many years ago, that in some African languages, the word for 'house' and the word for 'tree' are the same, as in shelter. Something to make us think. Thanks for writing this and sharing it with us. As always, very insightful.

Carmen :-)
Reviewed by E T Waldron 2/22/2004
Leland this subject is close to my heart. I'm a tree lover. I talk to them too;-) Go ahead I like to make you laugh!LOL You did a fantastic write as always. Thank you it was a pleasure to read about my friends;-)...
Reviewed by Susan de Vegter 2/22/2004
Wow! I do love the trees and their might voice when the wind gives them backgroud power. I once helped plant 55 trees at the school where I taught. I often times want to go back and see the shelter their gnarled, rhumatoid limbs give to the children. The Live Oak is my all time favorite.

Reviewed by Gaye Dale (Reader) 2/22/2004

Love that word 'embrangles' - a new one for me. Very clever, Leyland!
Reviewed by jude forese 2/22/2004
fantastic imagery to this wonderful nature poem ...
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 2/22/2004
I have heard Canada being described this way.......Lovely country but too many trees! LOL. May we always have too many. Wonderful write on trees.
Reviewed by Londis Carpenter 2/22/2004
You tapped into my love of trees and nature.

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