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The Climbing Tree
Richard Greene


The tree was tall
but made for climbing
branches close to the ground,
thick foliage
where we could perch
concealed from the world
like secret birds,
branches closely spaced
a Jacobís ladder
into the airy realm
of birds and squirrels
and the daydreams
of tree climbers.

©by Richard Greene.
Used with the author's permission.

Richard Greene began writing poetry in the 8th grade, inspired by the opening lines of Longfellow's “Evangeline”—“This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks / Bearded in moss and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight"—which he was required to read in class. In college, after a classmate deemed Richard’s rhyming poem “trite,” he stopped writing until, a couple of years later, a class with Henry Rago, subsequently editor of Poetry magazine, inspired him to resume his efforts. But poetry fell by the wayside for almost forty years as a busy career in international development consumed his life. As retirement approached, however, Richard’s dedication to poetry returned; he has since published three chapbooks: The Broken Guitar: Poems of War; Becoming Old: Poems of Aging; Painting with Words: Landscapes in Verse; and one full -length collection, To Talk of Many Things: Selected Poems. Richard, who lives in Nyack, New York, shares a "poem of the week" with anyone interested; get on his mailing list by requesting it at



Post New Comment:
Yes. Love this.
Posted 09/04/2016 03:24 PM
Glad you stuck to the poetry Richard. That is a lovely wee poem.
Posted 09/04/2016 02:38 PM
Lori Levy:
I identify with this one. I find trees for my grandchildren to climb!
Posted 09/04/2016 10:07 AM
Elaine Harvey:
Love it. I used to call myself "Queen of the Cedars."
Posted 09/04/2016 08:45 AM

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