Ode to Bare Branches

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

I hope you’ve had a beautiful Thanksgiving! Today, the day after Thanksgiving, we’re helping our older daughter move into her new apartment. I’m so happy for her, but honestly, if I never see another U‑Haul or moving box again, that’s too soon.

Anyway, one of many things in my life I’m grateful for is my Poetry 7 Group. We’ve been writing together for mumble mumble years now! I had to make an airport run and miss our live writing together session, which I was so bummed about. Seeing each others’ faces on Zoom is a highlight each month!

This month, our Poetry Princess challenge was an Ode to Autumn. As Tanita said, An ode is a lyrical poem, and like the ancient Greeks, modern humans also enjoy marking an occasion with a song. We decided to approach autumn with joy, and we could use either an irregular ode with no set pattern or rhyme, or the ten-line, three-to-five stanza famed by Homer himself.

Autumn’s my very favorite season, and I usually focus on the nature aspects of it. But there are other things I love about fall, too, and I decided to try to be more inclusive in my ode ;>) That was my plan. To write a playful poem about the bits of fall that fill me the zap and crackle of new energy. But it’s been a rough couple of weeks, and what I planned and what happened were two entirely different things. Here’s the first draft that emerged on Tuesday.

I’m looking forward to seeing what my Poetry Sisters have to share.


Mary Lee

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Want to join us in December? Great! Our prompt is a poem dealing with bells. Take that whatever direction you’d like, and share on  Poetry Friday on Dec. 31, 2021! Ring in (hehe) the New Year by sharing on social media with #PoetryPals, too.

Ruth, who’s a wonderful example of living a life of gratitude, has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. May your cup overfloweth with poems that give you exactly what you need in this moment!




17 Responses

  1. Oh! Not just the bare branches but the SPACES between them. I adore that you focused on that…finding beauty everywhere is part of why poetry holds such magic for me. This is glorious. (And I feel you on the moving boxes and vans.…never again, if I can help it!!)

  2. Wow, Laura. That is a powerful address to the trees. Empty spaces between branches…and strong enough to open arms and drop everything. Love the emotion this brings up in me. Thank you.

  3. Oh, YES. I’m still more like the little oak in Amy LV’s poem this week, but I do aspire to the ending of your poem. LOVE it.

  4. Receiving the wisdom of trees is something I hope all children learn, Laura. You’ve blessed us all with a poem that reaches out to us, just as they do. Wishing goodness for your daughter in her new place, & some peace for you all this weekend.

  5. “Strong enough to open my arms, drop everything, and just stand there,” the vast implications of the triangular blue pockets, the spaces between. You definitely wrote beyond nature, Laura.

  6. It appears my comment was lost, so I shall try again! And again, and again. Apparently, your blog doesn’t like my comments. It’s eaten at least 3 of them.
    This reminds me of Kristine O’Connell George’s poem The Blue Between. I love that you looked at the spaces. That’s something I never remember to do. This is lovely.

    1. Thanks, Tricia. This is the second one to come through. The others…? So frustrating. I couldn’t comment on several blogs yesterday. Hate that!

    2. PS Now I’ll have to go look up Kris’ poem. I’ve read several times and loved Seeing the Blue Between, compiled by Paul Janeczko, but it’s been years. Thanks for this reminder.

  7. Laura — this poem is beautiful! Every line. It’s the kind of poem I wanted to read and read again. Hope we all continue to discover and appreciate the secrets of trees and all nature. Thank you for this!

    1. Thanks, Vicki! Even if this had been the only comment I received on this poem, it would’ve made it worth the writing.

  8. Laura, your poem is inspiring.First of all, the topic is interesting. The ending is wonderful. Words like strength, and resilience come to mind.

  9. Love your poem Laura, especially the familiarity between you and the tree’s and their negative spaces, I never tire of looking at trees and their “space between branches, and also that “triangular blue pockets of sky” that I’m always so happy to see… ^^

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