Through firs grown tall

BCForestWells
Forests of British Columbia, at Wells Gray. Taken by Andrew Mackay

Tendrils, grey
they slowly creep
deep through firs grown tall
pall, now dark descends
rends forests, long standing
branding hills with ashen scars
mars, once pristine, leaving,
grieving, wasteland borne
torn now asunder

Thick-set sentinels

forest

A thousand winters
come and gone
thick-set sentinels no longer pay
each more than casual attention;
snowmelt slides downslope,
each rivulet latches to newly-found
kin
their meandering journey to
water’s grand community
has begun

Drinking deep, the soil
run through with the needle gifts
of geriatric conifers
each new sprout could,
if lucky,
grow as old and numb
as the sentinel trees
their roots ground into
the forest floor.

In verdant decay

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, by Andrew Mackay
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, by Andrew Mackay

In verdant decay
the woods lie low, now
and wait for those that crawl
in humble obscurity
to give them new life

Some may fall with panache
shaking the forest floor
their final, primal scream

Others dissolve
giving one last gift
to their kin
and the countless
who’ve yet to sprout.

Tanka 01

I’m an avid reader of wePoets Show It, a poetry blog that runs various creative events for poetry, flash fiction, and spoken word performance. Their monthly poetry contest¬†focuses on Tanka, a form that’s basically a haiku with two 7-syllable lines at the end.

I haven’t written haikus for a serious purpose in over a decade- when I wrote haikus in third grade, the positive reception led to me continuing to write poetry to this day. That being said, I have mostly focused on free verse (with the odd old-fashioned set of rhymed quatrains thrown in), and am badly out of practice with a rigid poetry form. The final Tanka I submit will not be posted here, but what I have written for practice will. Here’s my first swing:

The evergreen tree
hides among the now-lush grove
When seasons change and
maples flash brilliant, then
fall silent, it remains, green.

Judging by this first day, I will have far more scraps than completed Tanka, but the challenge appears to be healthy. I’m enjoying it.