The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree….

and she loved a little boy.

And everyday the boy would come

and he would gather her leaves

and make them into crowns

and play king of the forest.

He would climb up her trunk

and swing from her branches

and eat apples.

And they would play hide-and-go-seek.

And when he was tired,

he would sleep in her shade.

And the boy loved the tree….

very much.

And the tree was happy.

But time went by.

And the boy grew older.

And the tree was often alone.

Then one day the boy came to the tree

and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and

climb up my trunk and swing from my

branches and eat apples and play in my

shade and be happy.”

“I am too big to climb and play” said

the boy.

“I want to buy things and have fun.

I want some money?”

“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “but I

have no money.

I have only leaves and apples.

Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in

the city. Then you will have money and

you will be happy.”

And so the boy climbed up the

tree and gathered her apples

and carried them away.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time….

and the tree was sad.

And then one day the boy came back

and the tree shook with joy

and she said, “Come, Boy, climb up my trunk

and swing from my branches and be happy.”

“I am too busy to climb trees,” said the boy.

“I want a house to keep me warm,” he said.

“I want a wife and I want children,

and so I need a house.

Can you give me a house ?”

” I have no house,” said the tree.

“The forest is my house,

but you may cut off

my branches and build a

house. Then you will be happy.”

And so the boy cut off her branches

and carried them away

to build his house.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time.

And when he came back,

the tree was so happy

she could hardly speak.

“Come, Boy,” she whispered,

“come and play.”

“I am too old and sad to play,”

said the boy.

“I want a boat that will

take me far away from here.

Can you give me a boat?”

“Cut down my trunk

and make a boat,” said the tree.

“Then you can sail away…

and be happy.”

And so the boy cut down her trunk

and made a boat and sailed away.

And the tree was happy …

but not really.

And after a long time

the boy came back again.

“I am sorry, Boy,”

said the tree,” but I have nothing

left to give you –

My apples are gone.”

“My teeth are too weak

for apples,” said the boy.

“My branches are gone,”

said the tree. ” You

cannot swing on them – ”

“I am too old to swing

on branches,” said the boy.

“My trunk is gone, ” said the tree.

“You cannot climb – ”

“I am too tired to climb” said the boy.

“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.

“I wish that I could give you something….

but I have nothing left.

I am just an old stump.

I am sorry….”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.

“just a quiet place to sit and rest.

I am very tired.”

“Well,” said the tree, straightening

herself up as much as she could,

“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.

“And the boy did. And the tree was happy.

Grateful for all the “Giving Trees” in my life. 🙂

HARD IS THE JOURNEY

Gold vessels of fine wines,
thousands a gallon,
Jade dishes of rare meats,
costing more thousands,

I lay my chopsticks down,
no more can banquet,
I draw my sword and stare
wildly about me:

Ice bars my way to cross
the Yellow River,
Snows from dark skies to climb
the T’ai-hang mountains!

At peace I drop a hook
into a brooklet,
At once I’m in a boat
but sailing sunward…

(Hard is the journey,
Hard is the journey,
So many turnings,
And now where am I?)

So when a breeze breaks waves,
bringing fair weather,
I set a cloud for sails,
cross the blue oceans!

Li Po

DON’T TELL ME YOU KNOW ME

You think you can define me,
That I’m a tick in just one box,
Like my being is a door,
That a single key unlocks,
But let me tell you something,
I have the universe inside,
I hold an untamed ocean,
With a constant changing tide,
I’m home to endless mountains,
With tips that touch the sky,
Flocks of grand migrating birds,
And deserts harsh and dry,
I house the wildest rivers,
And a host of sweeping plains,
I feel in waves of sunshine,
Or in unrelenting rains,
Don’t tell me that you know me,
That ‘this right here is what you are’,
I am the universe in motion,
For I was born from stars.

Erin Hanson

CHANGE

I used to think

that birds are always happy

that bad things happen to other people

that butterflies are born pretty

that the moon had magic

that I could smell the rain

that my parents were never kids

that I’d be a kid forever

that I had it figured out

I’m tired of thinking

but I can’t stop.

Edge by Sylvia Plath

The woman is perfected.
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

MOTHER

Mothers are the best example in the world of selfless love. A love that put’s other people’s needs before themselves. Unconditional and sacrificial. This poem is for all mothers and most especially mine who will always be my hero.

In the morning she would rise
Sometimes at four or just before five
She worked hard as a mule and never complained
And hid it well, her hurt and her pain
But it was in her strength and in her eyes
So deep so wise, ‘You are worth the sacrifice’
Our needs and burdens she bore
‘One day,’ she said, ‘One day you will have more
More than anything you’ve ever dreamed before
You see, I want you to win the prize
Because I love you, you’re worth the sacrifice.’