Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 75,904 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

A Dome Of Dutch Elms Memory And Meditation - Poem by Daniel Brick

In my early years,
the streets of St. Paul were lined
on both sides with Dutch Elms,
growing profusely across three seasons
of the year. The trees had grown
to great heights, and at the limit
of their upward growth, the branches
spread out, and from both sides
they joined and created an arch
over street and boulevards, enclosing
them beneath a dome of leaves and branches.

It was under that dome I had
my being and grew from childhood
through adolescence into early manhood.
Sun shafts falling into the canopy
with their white light absorbed
them yellow-green of the leaves
and filtered that mellow color
over my existence. And its beauty
touched me as deeply as any beauty
on earth, or any imaginable
in my young mind. And it lasted.

That sight was not only beautiful
in itself, but I believe it was the source
of my sense of beauty: what is calm
and stable, upright and lasting, something
beyond me that yet still contains me, what
presents many things in the world which
hold me rapt in wonder, but also brings me
deep within to an interior place where
all is silent and absolutely still, and
my delight is a portion of the whole of wonder.
I spent many summer days, sitting

beneath that dome, with its lattice of branches
and canopy of leaves, reading the ancient poets -
Horace and Ovid, and further back, Theocritus
and Callimachus. They were the threshold
to a sacred time when gods and humans and animals
were all thriving under the dome of Gaia's life.
Each day ended for me as it did for them
with the slow crescendo of the cicadas' tremulous song.
Beauty does not wait upon our wills or nature.
It is a perpetual stretching out in revelation, then
a movement forward into some other arena

of display. We who live our lives, burnished
and bright, under the light of the sun
must take what is offered, when it is offered,
bound as we are to time, which also also does
not wait upon our wills or nature. Time is not
pitched for human delight. It is poetry's mission
to bring delight within the boundary of time.
What else can we do but surrender to time's flow,
link it to beauty by means of verse, and watch
their royal procession under the dome
of Dutch Elms passing through our lives.

Topic(s) of this poem: meditation, nature, time

Comments about A Dome Of Dutch Elms Memory And Meditation by Daniel Brick

  • Savita Tyagi (6/13/2016 9:34:00 AM)

    I chanced upon this poem today. Each line drew me closer and closer to nature's charm and our close bond with it and our reflections that unite us in the realm of time and space beyond the boundaries of past, present or future. Thanks for sharing with us Daniel. (Report) Reply

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  • Kelly Kurt (11/5/2015 3:30:00 PM)

    A captivating and meaningful piece, Daniel. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/5/2015 2:32:00 PM)

    Streets of St. Paul are nicely coming in memory of early days these are motivating life even in age old days. Growing profusely across the season is very nice task and displaying life in this wise sharing is definitely amazing and as well as marvelous. Such an interesting poem this is that attracts reader. Nice task...10 (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 5, 2015

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