I’m happy to host Poetry Friday today. Please leave your links at the end of the post, and see what goodness others are sharing this week. When I was a kid I remember reading a newspaper article about Jewish policemen in NYC who always took the Christmas shift. And the other day I read about an informational fiction PB entitled The Christmas Mitzvah on Betsy Bird’s 31 Days: 31 Lists . The book tells the story of Al Rosen, a Jewish man who volunteered to take on other folks jobs on Christmas Eve. In the spirit of Al Rosen, I often host Poetry Friday around Christmas time (not that it’s much work with Mr. Linky’s help. Mr. Linky is the real mensch!)
Lucky me–I was paired with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for the winter poetry swap. I have long been a fan of Amy’s poetry, and the poem she gifted spoke to me. And lucky you–you get to read it too!
The hand-stitched bookmark, from vintage Japanese cotton, illustrates the poem perfectly. And the poem! Read it aloud and you will swoon. There are so many images and lines that I love in “One Tree Will Tell You a Secret”–especially this magical pair:
You smell its pine breath.
You hear its pine voice.
Today, when I was out walking the hound, I took Amy’s poem’s advice and leaned in to listen to a tree. The sky was gray and there was only a dusting of snow. But a black cherry shared a few secrets. Being a mature tree, she helped me put the dark of the season and the year in perspective. I am happy to share her words, and I plan to keep listening in the new year.
A Tree’s Secrets
Woodpeckers will peck.
Beetles will burrow.
Strong winds will blow.
Tree trunks will bend.
But roots are tenacious,
grow deeper each season.
They share, they exchange,
entwine with new friends.
Gray clouds replenish.
Limbs turn towards sun.
Buds will survive.
Winter will end.
Wishing you poetry, light, and joyful celebrations!
18 thoughts on “Welcome to Poetry Friday!”
Trees are such long-lived hopeful symbols. What a thrill to have received Amy’s hand written poem and your response had me to looking forward to Spring. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Buffy, thank you for being the bearer of poetry goodness on Christmas Eve. Amy’s beautiful words about leaning in and listening prompted you to do so immediately. Tree’s Secret’s is a wonderful exchange back to Amy sharing the promises of life. Have a wonderful New Year!
Such beautiful sentiments from both of you! I love the idea of nature sharing secrets and the reminder to slow down and listen. Wishing you peace and happiness in 2022.
Beautiful gift and response!
As others have said, what a thoughtful, beautiful exchange – how I wish I had time for the winter poetry swap again, I miss doing it! Thanks for hosting Buffy…and have a wonderful weekend!
The bookmark so lovingly stitched and a poem about trees, what could be better? I love the images. Buffy, I love that you moved to the mysterious things that happen in winter, buds surviving, clouds replenishing. Thank you for hosting us today.
What a lovely exchange among you, Amy, and the trees. As though you were walking together. Thanks for hosting this Christmas Eve. I wish for you the best in the coming new year.
What beauty in this offering of Amy-Buffy-black cherry wisdom! Here’s to listening more in 2022. Thanks for hosting us, Buffy! xo
Wow, maybe I’m just a little emotional right now, but both Amy’s poem and yours brought tears to my eyes. Such beautiful thoughts at the end of this difficult year. Thank you for hosting! I am still holding out hope that I might write a PF post at some point today! We’ll see.
Wow. Amy’s poem and stitched gift (I was just wondering how to translate Van Gogh’s brush strokes into embroidery and BOOM, Amy did it!) plus your response poem…wow. Deep meanings, beautiful words. Thank you both. And special thanks to YOU for hosting!
I’m swooning about every aspect of your post, Buffy! Amy is a gift. You are a gift. Thank you for sharing your gifts (on multiple levels) with us. And thank you for hosting. <3
I enjoyed both of these poems, Buffy. I love trees so I can relate to them having secrets and listening to what they have to say to us. They are wonderful companion works. I’m sure you’ll treasure the one you were sent and others will treasure yours. Thank you for hosting. Have a wonderful holiday season! Carol from The Apples in My Orchard
Buffy, Again, I feel so lucky that we were connected in both directions for this Winter Poetry Swap. Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem and for our conversation. Trees are going to line up to tell you their secrets now! I thought about this poem as I stitched away…it was almost as if if the stitches wrote the words.Your words today give me the hope I need right now, in this moment, and is a gentle reminder for which I am grateful. Please give your black cherry a hug from me. Thank you for hosting, and love to you and yours in 2022! xo
Thanks so much for hosting today, Buffy. I, too, am in awe of Amy’s poem and yours too. And what a beautiful bookmark. In Amy’s poem, I love the two lines you mention, and also the image of going alone into the forest and trusting a tree. Your response to that invitation is lovely, especially the closing stanza. We will indeed survive with the buds.
I feel so blessed to have participated in the Winter Poem Swap for the first time this year, and I share the marvelous poem I received in my post today.
What a wonderful poem exchange you and Amy created via leaning in and listening to those special trees. And I love your poem’s upbeat ending,
“Buds will survive.
Winter will end.”
Thanks for sharing both of these sensitive poems Buffy, and for hosting the roundup this week. I look forward to checking out “The Christmas Mitzvah” book too!
What a beautiful conversation between poets. I’m a fan of you both and it makes my heart happy that you two poemed for each other. That mature cherry tree sure did impart some good advice. After your poem and Amy’s I just sighed a happy sigh. There is good in the world as long as you two keep sharing poems. Thank you! And, thanks for working the Christmas shift. I sure do appreciate it!