Tuesday, July 15, 2008


TREE, n. A tall vegetable intended by nature to serve as a penal apparatus, though through a miscarriage of justice most trees bear only a negligible fruit, or none at all. When naturally fruited, the tree is a beneficient agency of civilization and an important factor in public morals. In the stern West and the sensitive South its fruit (white and black respectively) though not eaten, is agreeable to the public taste and, though not exported, profitable to the general welfare. That the legitimate relation of the tree to justice was no discovery of Judge Lynch (who, indeed, conceded it no primacy over the lamp-post and the bridge-girder) is made plain by the following passage from Morryster, who antedated him by two centuries:
While in yt londe I was carried to see ye Ghogo tree, whereof I had hearde moch talk; but sayynge yt I saw naught remarkabyll in it, ye hed manne of ye villayge where it grewe made answer as followeth:

"Ye tree is not nowe in fruite, but in his seasonne you shall see dependynge fr. his braunches all soch as have affroynted ye King his Majesty."

And I was furder tolde yt ye worde "Ghogo" sygnifyeth in yr tong ye same as "rapscal" in our owne.
—Trauvells in ye Easte
2008 Update:  A tall bush that may bear fruit or nuts and to which these return.  Southern trees have been shown to bear strange fruit while Californian trees frequently bear actresses.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
Nor have I found a campaign solution
That inhales air pollution.
Nor a bumper sticker of Chief Seattle
That I can climb to hide from battle
Neither an environmental slogan
I might chop down to build a hogan.
And no fervent social movement
Counts on maps for an improvement
But if I edit over time
At least a good quatrain can rhyme.
--Grouse Kilmer


tsduff said...

Tree: A wellspring from which we take sustanence, both through the air we breathe, and in the feast provided for our eyes... through the wood we burn in the fireplace, and the perches aloft for the feathered creatures. Some people hug them.

Nessa said...

That's my relative.

Nessa said...

That Grouse writes a lovely rhyme.

I annoy everyone by constantly mentioning how the trees cry when paper is wasted.

Anonymous said...

my favorite childhood climbing toy
made less than favorite by turning catapult and attempting to launch me into eternity

I landed 10 feet away, stomach first, in the neighbor's dog run. Nessa's friends are welcome to make that three into paper.

Nessa said...

Quilly: Shouldn't you be turning the other cheek; D

javajazz said...

trees...those beautious structures
outside my home
that give me
way more privacy
in the summer
than they do in the winter...
sometimes i touch them
to ground and connect me
to the Earth...

Jim said...

Tree: I learned Joyce Kilmer's poem for the first poem I memorized. To tell the truth and to no offense (knock on a wooden tree) I like the JK one better.

Tree: A good place for the birds, much better than my bannister.

Single tree or double tree? That depends on how many horses you have hitched to your wagon.

Ariel the Thief said...

Someone said that every tree hides the soul of a trapped man, whose only pleasure is when a young woman hugs the tree and presses her thighs against the trunk, so the poor man will have something to remember.

Anonymous said...

TREE, acronym. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Not likely to be high on the Dawg's must-read list.


tsduff said...

Ariel - Ha ha. I always heard tree nymphs (lithe young women spirits) lived in trees. Nice ideas, both of them.

Anonymous said...

tree: A natural miracle soon to be extinct.

Jamie Dawn said...

Tree: a family history made of male & female branches from whence we came.
I'm told I am partly Anglo and partly Cherokee, with more emphasis on the Anglo, although the Cherokee comes from both sides of the family.

Also, I'm wondering where to buy seeds for a Money Tree and The Tree of Life?


G said...

I just quoted this poem (well the beginning two lines) to the kids when I was explaining the name of a NJ rest area.

Doug The Una said...

Terry, I don't mind the hugging but keep an eye up when walking under them, huh?

Nessa, Aunt Grouse kind of sounds like you.

So, the trees also wanted you dead, Quilly?

Please not in a thunderstorm, JJ. Otherwise it sounds like a grand thing. Plus, according to Ariel, you are probably thrilling a ghost.

No offense taken, Jim, other than by your evicting birds from your home.

Ariel, I've heard that myth only the way I heard it was women and flagstones.

Nah, Amoeba. I don't believe in either.

Terry, Ariel is a generous soul. If you encourage her she might move to the forest.

Poobah, with the honeybee and the competitive bid contract?

JD, it's funny you ask that. Just yesterday I saw a serpent selling them.

Lovely Tree Rest Area, G?

TLP said...

Some store shoes on one.

Some trees eat kites.

Christmas trees are the best.

Cooper said...

I think that dogs
will always pee
Upon the roots
of any tree

That reminded me of this old song my grandmother used to sing me, called "the growing up tree", pretty corny it was a girl scout song,though I never was of of those.

Anonymous said...

Tree...so many thoughts abound...once my respect did not allow me to smoke cigs in a redwood forest...got over that...have seen tree(s)used and abused as hanging tree(s),and that was not a weeping willow...have said a blessing before starting the chainsaw,(one should always be thankful,for firewood)...have seen a small sawmill in Iceland(mostly treeless)...Trees have been in my life since i remember,climbing to their heights,or viewing their shadows on bedroom walls.............Peace----Be Thankful for the Gift of the Tree

Doug The Una said...

TLP, bless the angel-eyed atheist.

Cooper, a lovely poem. I know I shouldn't say this and probably shouldn't think it but the thought of you singing girl scout songs is a little like the thought of Dorothy Parker as a blushing bride. A likely truth given charm by fairies.

Actonbell, I agree with you. To have trees you need weather and I'm fond of both.

Anonymous, I am, but don't you think there might be an upside to being a hanging tree?

Hobbes said...

One is always in one's family tree.
Probably a good thing, since it's not good to be out of one's tree.