Trees

Plant These

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(This is the first chapter of a Children’s Story I am working on.)

 

Thelma woke one morning. It was still “dark morning” as she had always called it when one of her parents had awakened her for school or some early morning traveling before sunrise. “Is it dark morning?” she would ask.

 

This time it wasn’t her parents or older sister, but colorful light glowing or rather dancing in her room.  There were no sounds. Usually these days, she would awaken to raised voices in the kitchen, her mother arguing with her sister or father.  They must still be sleeping she thought.  Then she quickly threw off her blankets and hurried to the corner of her room where the dancing lights were bouncing up and down in a basket.  She stubbed her big toe on the comfy chair next to her desk, but not hard enough to slow her down and only a quiet yelp escaped from her mouth.  She peered into the basket. What she saw was extraordinary! The basket was filled with small glowing seeds of every color bouncing up and down.  There was a note folded on the side of the basket. She lifted it out and turned on the small light on her desk to read it.  It was hard to take her eyes off those seeds.  One part of her wanted to hide them like a secret treasure so no one else would see them or take them, but she turned her eyes to the note now and read:

 

“ Plant these: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.  These seeds will die unless you plant them.  Outside in your backyard you will find a bicycle in a tree.  The bicycle will show you where to plant these seeds.”

 

Thelma quickly put on her robe and slippers and headed for the back door.  There was Skiff her beloved mutt curled up sleeping on the mat in front of the door.  He opened his eyes and wagged his tail as she approached.

 

“OK, Skiff you can come with me, but no barking, understand?”  She whispered as she patted him on the head.”  

 

She opened the backdoor and off they went towards the one big tree in her yard.  Sure enough, there was a bicycle hooked up to the trunk of the tree.  She could barely reach it. But with a little hop she was able to unhook the bike and bring it down.  The basket fit perfectly to the handle bars.

 

“Ok, here goes!” She whispered to herself and Skiff as she climbed onto the bicycle and set off.  The bicycle had a mind of it’s own!  She was going to peddle down the street but instead the bicycle went around her house.  She tried again as the driveway came up on the right but again the bicycle went bumping around the house and one more time again.  Then she remembered in her frustration to steer the bike, that the note said the bicycle would show her where to plant the seeds.

 

“Oh! I’m supposed to plant the seeds around our house!” She parked the bike against the house and began digging little holes for the seeds under the kitchen window.  She carefully placed a few of the glowing seeds and covered them back up with dirt. Then all along the sides of the house she repeated her task until she ran out of seeds, which happened to be where she had started. The bicycle was gone.  Then she noticed the early morning light painting the eastern sky.  She glanced over to the tree and caught a glimpse of the bicycle disappearing into the thick foliage of the tree.  

 

As she and Skiff opened the back door she met her parents and older sister coming downstairs.  

 

“Hey, you’re up first this morning!  How did that happen?” Bea, Thelma’s oldest sister asked.

 

Thelma didn’t answer, she just walked over to them and gave them all hugs and said: “I love you.”  Then together they went into the kitchen to make breakfast together.  

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

 

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Marriage and Family, Story: Plant These, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Start Small

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Start small

With steps towards

Good and beauty

Towards life and healing

Otherwise

You may find

Discouragement and

Disillusionment

Tagging, unwanted

Along

You may find

You don’t have

All you need

Lose hope

And not finish

 

Start small

You will add

Piece by piece

To what you have

Wondering where did

It all come from

Whether it be word

Or color or brick or paint

It won’t matter because

It will be there

To fit into the place it goes

And you will see

Unfolding before your eyes

(Maybe not exactly as you thought!)

The dream, the plan,

The drawing, the house

The life

finishing in all it’s glory

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons, Trees, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Raw Material

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I.

We are given the raw materials

Of our lives

As on the First Day

Out of the chaos and void

Life began

 

What will we do with

The darkness and light

Will we separate it into a

Smooth transition of colors

As in a rainbow?

 

It will be anything

But smooth

Full of fits and starts

Smudges and blackouts

As if we can erase

The messes we have made

 

Yet stepping back

With the whole of life

In view

Of the one who falls

And is trampled under foot

Yet rises again

Painfully struggling

Forward

Into the light

Into the Love

That calls each by name

We see

The darkness is part of the canvas

Entwined with the light

Creating patterns and contrasts

Always erupting in colors at the end

The struggle of life emerging

 

If we only focused on

The fire scarred trunk

And did not step back

We would miss

The strength and substance

Of the ancient tree

Still green in all seasons

 

II.

The artist

The gardener

The teacher

The builder

The writer

The dancer

The musician

All participating in

Taking the chaos

And creating something

Useful or

Something just

Beautiful

Adding to the

life that began

When the light

Was separated from the darkness

© 2016 Julie Clark

 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Life, Love, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will I?

 

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If I listen

I will hear a variety of

Chirps, tweets and caws

Outside my window

The motors become background

To the symphony

If I listen

 

If I look

I will see the flowers

In the trees

The vibrant colors

In the garments swishing by

The mouths turning into smiles

If I look

 

If I smell

I will catch the aroma

Of spices in the air

The curries being prepared

The jasmine and frangipani

Dominating the fragrance of the path

If I smell

 

If I taste

I will savor the fruit and yogurt

In the lassie

The spices in the biryani

The ginger in the strong

Milky tea

If I taste

 

If I touch

I will feel the texture

Of the rich colorful fabrics

The weight of the children

In my lap

The cool tiles on bare feet

If I touch

© 2016 Julie Clark

follow the leader

 

 

Categories: beauty, borderlands, Life, Paths, Poetry, Travel, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Seed

The Birch

the seed

dead and buried

slowly

throws off the decay

sprouts new life

to thrust through the soil

for air

for light

for life

becoming what it is

destined to be

flowering in beauty

bearing fruit

to nourish

all living creatures

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, growth, Hope, Life, Poetry, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

At Deer Harbor

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Harbor grey

as the sky

Fog wisping off

the far islands

Evergreens

holding their color

Apple trees

across the road

ahead of the rest

with their joie de vivre

In full bloom

reminding us

this is the way to live

giving it all, everyday

not worrying about

tomorrow

provision of fruit

on it’s way

On the ferry

a bald eagle

showed us how to fish

from the shore

Made it look easy

with those wings

those eyes

Grateful to live near enough

to these island jewels

Summer time

they are full of

roaming tourists

from afar and

Orcas cruise the channels

Off season

has it own secrets

Quiet strength

building up

preparing for the

Glorious spring show.

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Hope, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Night in Boston

Fresh snow fell through the night

Washing the world again

covering all the barren trees

with a fresh cold compress

Given as a gift

to slow

to heal

to strengthen what remains

until spring thaw

when sap begins

to flow

and new life appears

in bud and blossom

Hope arises in our hearts

as it always does each spring

reminding us not all is lost

life will be renewed

again

 

© 2016 Julie Clark

Categories: Boston, Hope, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greenlake

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Greenlake

Rain washing our faces

as we curve around the lake

A favorite city walk

for man and beast

Algae blooms

in the water,

so beautiful to see, yet

toxic

keeping swimmers

at bay

Not that many are interested

this time of year

The trees are

really turning now

in full fall gala

Nothing can stop them

(only a lightning bolt or

a person

with an ax who hates beauty,

driven to stamp out glory

wherever it is found)

Are there such people?

Yes, but they are few

in the minority –

don’t vote for them!

or sell them a gun!

Pray for them instead,

help them up

out of despair

Then tend to the remnants

of the garden we have left

Gently coax it back to life

The meek will, someday,

inherit the earth, after all.

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: beauty, Faith, Hope, Life, Paths, Poetry, Prayer, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Troubled

Troubled Sky

Troubled

Woke up to an empty house

Troubles in this world

troubling my soul

Down by the water

should cheer me up

I’m searching for those messages

Flowers planted along Sunset Drive

Some still holding summer’s smile

others faded and shrivelled

I wish the eagles would come and chase away

my melancholy

Container ship passing by

What will it take to wean us from some of our comforts

so that others would be less poor?

Just giving up a cup of coffee causes major

upheaval in my head and heart

A tree is cut down

apparently because the roots are pulling up the sidewalk

Why don’t they just move the sidewalk?

They do in India

Inconvenient, yes, but spares the life of a tree

What is life worth to us anyways?

I feel we are mixed up about that question

I remember a wise man once said

“one’s life does not consist

in the abundance of his possessions”

He was warning us about greed

It’s a time in history again

where we need to be inconvenienced

stretched and changed

It is a time to value life and protect it

Desperate refugees

Unborn children

Trees

Our very planet

What will we do?

Will we listen to the voices of the wise

or close our ears and hearts

and hope it will all go away?

Oh, it will all go away

Quickly if we don’t do something

about our destructive ways

Life is fragile

delicate as

a butterfly’s wings

yet resilient

able to heal and restore

Let’s not push things beyond

the limit here

We still have time

© 2015 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, Hope, Life, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Outside Wildside

Admiring the grand old bur oak

across the street.

Some dead branches have been cut off,

some big holes in that tree.

The locals are telling me raccoons live there,

fierce raccoons.

I hadn’t seen them yet,

and had been there for over a week.

I guess I was not prowling around

when they were.

We saw them a few nights later,

five of them slinking around the garage next door.

Maybe they are going after a cat,

there are a whole lot of strays in the neighborhood.

Then I saw another pack,

when we walked home from Jazz in the Park.

The locals were taking me the long way

because it was prettier.

I saw those lit up eyes

and clapped until they disappeared into the gutter.

We gave the gutter a wide berth

and crossed the street.

The city is alive with wild creatures

while we are sleeping or indoors.

Have you noticed

how the wild takes over quick in some places

when you lay your hoe down for a few minutes rest?

The prairie grasses are beautiful,

but you have to remember to flick all the ticks off

when you’re finished with your hike.

In the Northwest we battle dampness and mold,

Blackberry vines can take over your yard before you know it.

Rats love the city,

Seattleites are seeing more than the usual, this summer.

A friend once told us

he sees coyotes out when he’s running early in the morning in Los Angeles.

A few years ago, in the spring

A bear ran through our neighborhood.

Good for us city slickers to be reminded

We are sharing this planet.

Categories: borderlands, Trees | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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