All these people did was write a poem, and look what happened:
--$50 to Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (membership plus $15 on top)
--$15 to Friends of Roan Mountain (Tennessee, Dave's cause)
--and 10 Euros to Kick It Out, a campaign against racism and homophobia in football (soccer), cause that's where Dave's t-shirt is coming from.
The winner is DaveTree, who is not only a professional poet, but studies tree DNA. It was inevitable. I hope I got the line breaks right. Winner first, rest as I found them:
Note to Trees
Trees, it's almost Thanksgiving
and as promised you're coming
naked--along with all your
relatives hauling acorns beechnuts buckeye
nuts moldy maple wings and such.
Leave them at the door.
Don't start in on gifts to the poor
squirrels and other fluffy rats,
and don't ever lapse into that annual rant after
several glasses of wine, death is
the mother of beauty. Death is a motherfucker.
The place cards are set
yet once more--be on your best
behavior; don't forget who this day is for.
John does his usual start-snarky-then-pull-your-heart-out magic:
I think that I shall never see
A chance to fuck under a tree.
A tree whose branches have caressed
A bodice ripped, revealing breast;
A tree that keeps a secret for more than a day,
And shades us from the sun when clothes fall away;
A tree in whose bark we’d carve our names
Who never chooses sides or blames;
Upon whose roots our flesh has lain;
Intimate with soil and pain.
This willow dream made by fools like me,
It’s close to God, to fuck under a tree.
Amateurzac puts one in mind of Fargo. Tan that hide, my friend!
A Cautionary Tale
The most beautiful tree
I will ever see in my life
Was the mulberry that grew in the backyard
With a thick, powerful trunk;
Broad deep-green leaves for shade
In the 100-degree summers,
Delicious fruit that made
A perfect purple mess in the spring,
Shadows and memories playing year round;
Roots, deep and ancient.
I cried and cried and cried
As it went through the wood-chipper
Screaming with metal and agony
One branch at a time.
Rachel speaks to an eternal paradox:
Every time my hands touch paper I touch a tree,
Sucking up the dark water,
Felled, stripped and pulped
Stretched out before me your white corpse
Shaved into thin sheaves
Waits for new born words
Mark is full of brotherly love, despite everything:
The trees around Philly
reach and find only me
their fingers have fallen
their digits have stopped
i smile as i read
and i know she is getting better
with her poetry
it is exciting to witness growth
as so much around me withers...
she was here and she was as still
the trees around here
cover only me.
Rionn Fears Malechem (hmmm) wrote two, at my demand:
Trees are strong, and trees are fun
Trees get bigger in the sun
If I could climb a tree and sit
I'd get right back down, in a bit.
On reaching out, I pause
rather like a tree
paused, reached out
If I had bark I'd be its double,
Although less certain of purpose
Liz moved deftly from the universal to the particular and back again...
Debating between quitting
or screwing off so thoroughly
that my boss has no choice
reminiscing about my own
American Girl Dolls.
One, Molly, a family tradition
One, Addy, my own savings
led to my grandmother's dismay
remember when there were only 3?
From 8 stories up
the trees of Takoma do their autumn trick
for my enjoyment and distraction.
memory, dolls, trees and motivation...
something's gotta give!
Thank you from the bottom of my roots. The contest will return next year, if I have anything to say about it.