Iowa Writes

FREDDY NIAGARA FONSECA
The Language of the Trees


I never saw a discontented tree.

—John Muir

I

I asked the trees one summer

What they had been thinking of all year.

They wouldn't say,

But then I heard them wave

And whisper of the ages—

Seasons—

Years, and months, and days—

And countless hours

Of abundant happiness!

I never saw a discontented tree.

—John Muir

I

I asked the trees one summer

What they had been thinking of all year.

They wouldn't say,

But then I heard them wave

And whisper of the ages—

Seasons—

Years, and months, and days—

And countless hours

Of abundant happiness!

II

I like the tales they tell me.

Autumn makes them talk of leaving all,

And yet they stay,

And as they drop their leaves,

They muse for weeks on April—

Thrushes—

Stars and lingering Indian summers—

Rain—

And latent loneliness . . .

III

Their voice is low in winter.

Snow and icy winds are on their minds,

And they withdraw;

But in their winter dreams

You hear how branches sing,

And think of dawn—

The sun in distant countries—

Warmth—

And summer peacefulness.

IV

How grand they are each season—

Often have I seen them stand like kings!

A certain awe

Surrounds their splendid forms,

And so they wait for spring—

For flowers—

Verdant prairies—

Butterflies in May—

And simple loveliness.

V

And then they speak of lovers!

Sudden colors spread their message fast,

And every year

Their many stories bloom,

And nourish noble pages—

Poems—

Gorgeous music—

Heart and mind

With endless youthfulness.

VI

And so we welcome summer . . .

All day long they stand and think and dream,

And all we hear

Is how they wave again

And whisper of the ages—

Seasons—

Years, and months, and days—

And countless hours

Of unending happiness . . .

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


FREDDY NIAGARA FONSECA

Freddy Niagara Fonseca is the creator of This Enduring Gift, an anthology of works by poets from Fairfield, Iowa where he has lived for more than 20 years.  He founded the Candlelight Reading Series and the Chamber Music Society Fairfield.

www.thisenduringgift.com

This page was first displayed
on January 21, 2011

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