Branches Poems: 149 / 500

Tread Carefully

Rating: 5.0

The branches dance in the wind,
The ones outside my window
Across from my desk.
I suppose you know the trees
Of which I speak, for I've written
Oft of their power over me.

Refractors of emerald sunlight
Bending their wavelengths
To the frequency of my soul,
Trampolines of splashing raindrops,
Tangoed partners to the rhythm of the wind
But one thing I've never told you,
One thing you need to know─
The branches, they talk to me.
The branches, they've told me
Who you are.

Perhaps it's because I have
Grafted myself into the woods
And the lonely places where only
The love of rock and stone and
Wildness carries me,
Perhaps it is because the song
Of the wood and the streams
And the high places where
Sky and mountain mingle
Without border, and where
My soul was reforged with
Timber and stone;
Perhaps because they
See me not as a man
At a desk, but as a brother
Bound in the intimacy
Of breathing each other's
Breath, sharing a single heart,
Perhaps for this reason alone
They have told me who you are.

If you wish to know me,
You must be willing to walk
Among the cliffs where
Loneliness is my shelter.
You must be able to huddle
against the winds of the abyss
and listen to the whisper of the zephyr,
place your ears to the lips
of men lying in the gutter,
to the ground up from which
wells the groans of humanity.
for this is the path of the poet.

If you wish, instead, to merely
Drink from my cistern,
You will find the water cold and sweet
But it will leave within you
A hollowness as deep as
The soul of the mountain
And a heaviness as vast
as the grief of humanity.

Step you carefully,
you who would tread
the heart of a poet.

Friday, December 9, 2016
Branches Poems: 149 / 500
Topic(s) of this poem: love,poetry
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Anne Yun 13 December 2016

'Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams' I thought the heart of a poet is the strongest, now i have to step carefully. And what have the branches told you about who i am? Mirror, mirror, tell me please :) I enjoyed reading this very much.

3 0 Reply
Seamus O Brian 13 December 2016

Dear Anne, the heart of the poet is indeed strong, and deep, and perilous to navigate. This is why my advice to tread carefully when entering the heart of a poet, not for the sake of the poet, but for the sake of one who might enter in unaware of what might be encountered there. The trees give off oxygen which we breathe, and in turn breathe in the CO2 we breathe out. Are we not brothers? My brothers tell me you are a poet with whom they speak much.

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Very impressive work, Seamus, indeed... Your obvious penchant for structural movement is sharp as a dart and smooth as a coin crossing o'er a freshly glaced ice pond...Metaphor and empowered vernacular propels this work as each stanza fuels the next...A fine wordsmith you be, mate!

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Norah Tunney 19 February 2017

a magnificent cry of the heart! ! ! the poet willing to follow his wild into the beautiful barren solitary places the journey of the poet willing to go the dark wounded spaces. brillant poem Seamus, a poem i woud love to have written.............10

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Seamus O Brian 21 February 2017

My dear Norah, how gracious and kind are your words, and yet in your few lines of thought I believe I glimpse the heart of one also who has walked the lonely, dark places. Paths where it is possible to hear your own soul converse with the depths of being in the language of pain and sorrow...joy and wonder. I look forward to hearing from your own lines where such paths have taken you. Thank you again, :) S

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Kathy Van Kurin 17 February 2017

Seamus O' Brian, Well, you have truly given me a mirror of the beautiful mystery I feel within the out of doors! Inspiration within solitude Iv'e found many a time within her living magnificence. The whole poem told a step by steip narrative of how you are held, strengthened and inspired to live and understand life (I know it is true for me as well) Thanks for sharing this deep intense poem. Very thoughtfully done................Blessings, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Kathy

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Bill Cantrell 23 December 2016

The love of rock and stone and wilderness carries me, the last three lines are golden perfection.

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Seamus O Brian 24 December 2016

Thank you, Bill, I have always found inspiration in the forest and mountains, but they seem unmoved by my poetry. I am glad to have human colleagues with whom to share. Season's blessings, my friend. :) s

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Bharati Nayak 18 December 2016

I love what you told about the trees- - -How you feel a tree as a brother- - - -A beautiful poem- - To quote a few lines- -Across from my desk. I suppose you know the tree Of which I speak, for I've written Oft of their power over me. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - One thing you need to know- The branches, they talk to me. The branches, they've told me Who you are. Perhaps it's because I have Grafted myself into the woods And the lonely places where only The love of rock and stone and Wildness carries me, - - - - - - - - The poem goes to my favorite list.

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Seamus O Brian 18 December 2016

Thank you, kind Bharati, for your gracious and encouraging sentiments, and for taking the time to read and comment so kindly. Be blessed, my good poet!

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