Tree by Luciano Iacobelli

to me they were just tall blanks
remote giants impassive as Nature itself
I could never understand the big deal
why so many fairy tales and art
about so much leaf and bark

but it was love that first made me really look at trees
I’d come home from school swollen with infatuation
I’d stare at the maple on my front lawn
and it was a peg pinning my imagination to both sky and ground
my vision climbed up the giant’s limbs
and played there like a divine ape swinging
between metaphors and symbols

the tree was  Love  posing
a sculpture of the heart
                       passion made 3 dimensional
expressive knots lean of trunk or twist of branch
leaves juggling and fumbling the light
branch pattern
             wind’s nervous system

my love was a girl who wanted so much to be elsewhere
who had a few times attempted departure from family constraints
.                                                                  from mind and its
shrinking circles
It was our last year of high school
and when the summer came we spent it cocooned
in secret places talking and embracing under bridges bleachers
in parks and cemeteries, I promised her a separate universe
bounded only by care and kisses
it was a promise I came to renege
when I learned that sometimes romance is just hatred of the world
and love is just love of disappearance
I had not enough space in me
to be another’s burial place

and so by summer’s end I stood
in front of the maple and apologized to it
for being the screen of my projections
and I saw it for what it really was
a touchable climbable solitude
.            indifferent to heart and mind
myth resistant


Copyright © Luciano Iacobelli. Originally published in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).


Luciano Iacobelli is a poet, publisher, visual artist and educator. He is the author 6 full length books of poetry and numerous chapbooks. His most recent book, entitled Dolor Midnight was published December 2018 and deals with the subject of gambling. He is also the owner and supervising editor of Quattro Books, a susbsidized literary press specializing in Novellas and poetry. He also operates a micropress called LyricalMyrical press known for producing handcrafted poetry chapbooks.

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