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GŁnther's Tree
Lois P. Jones

Because you are strong.
Because your branches span out ahead of you
and in so many years, age has allowed breadth to match height,
boughs so heavy with time they touch the ground.
Because a crow can land as easily as the butterfly
and a bench so perfectly placed beneath you
is shelter from the heat. Because all I want is to sleep
under your canopy,  to dream of families that feasted
on acorns, cooked quail and rabbit on soft ground
near your roots. Because you sit among the dozens
 of fragrant roses and the white arbor overlooking
an English garden—amid the bee palm and hibiscus
with its orderly wildness. I cannot distinguish water
that rushes over the fountain’s stones from the wind
in your leaves.  And this is music.  And there is a shelter
like Mahler's little hut where the occasional deer can wander,

This poem first appeared in Lascaux Review (March, 2012).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Lois P. Jones believes in all manner of flying and says she claims “skydiving and hot air ballooning as my introduction to highfalutin.” When she isn’t dreaming of dirigibles, Lois makes herself useful as a host on Pacifica Radio's “Poet’s Café” (KPFK 90.7 fm) and co-producer of the long-running Moonday Poetry series. She is poetry editor of Kyoto Journal and the 2012 winner of both the Tiferet Poetry Prize and the 2012 Liakoura Prize. Lois lives in South Pasadena, California.


Post New Comment:
Katrina, I'd like to the know the name of the book if you find it. I recently purchased "The Meaning of Trees" which has a few key species and covers their myth and history. Thank you for stopping by. I love that you encourage a new goal in life for your father.
Posted 05/25/2014 01:25 PM
My father has climbed all of the tallest mountains in Great Britain, so I bought him a book of the most remarkable trees in the world in the hope he would visit every one of them, now that he has retired from work in the oil industry. Really I should follow my own advice and write a poem about each of them - as long as I can find another copy of the book.
Posted 05/25/2014 12:45 AM
Peninsula, Ginny, Mimi, Larry, Rhona, Ross, Dorcas - I don't know any of you but I am very grateful to have your kind comments! I love Gunther's tree and the grounds its rooted in. My friend Gunther lives in Berlin and is very much the persona of this tree who speaks with wisdom and a great love of music. My thanks to each of you. Ross, that's a sad tale but a true statement of humankind. Some of us have to fight to save these mythical trees because they have every right to live. They must continue to share their lives with us and transmit their ancient stories.
Posted 05/24/2014 01:11 PM
Beautiful poem.
Posted 05/24/2014 11:10 AM
Ginny C.:
Thank you for allowing me and my busy mind to rest for a few moments in the shade of your lovely poem.
Posted 05/24/2014 09:00 AM
lovely, the poem and all trees...
Posted 05/24/2014 08:56 AM
Larry Schug:
A magnificent sensual poem, it contains that essential ingredient, words with texture.
Posted 05/24/2014 07:56 AM
I enjoyed every line of this lovely poem. There is something so wonderful about trees. You've caught it so well. Thank you
Posted 05/24/2014 04:57 AM
Ross Kightly:
Any poem with an ancient tree plus Mahler in it has got to be worth at least 30,000 our of 10! Near where I grew up in Victoria, Australia, the early European settlers saw what was probably the tallest plant that had ever grown on Planet Earth. They marvelled at it. Then they felled it. In accordance with the old Australian saying: "If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't, chop it down!" This is a very moving poem on so many levels - thank you.
Posted 05/24/2014 12:57 AM
Like a canopy of remembrances.
Posted 05/23/2014 11:57 PM

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