Being tree by Daniel G. Scott

imagine a whole life
being in one place—
roots press down grip
soil, that soil, this earth,
coil around rocks
reach for moisture and wait.


no, not wait
trees have no measured time
but light with one kind of breathing
and night with another breath,
giving back.
not weeks but seasons
days stretched and arms,
fingers reach up and out;
a slow rhythm


wind and rain
snow and branches breaking off,
leaves, needles falling
the feel of birds
their talons, their lightness
along limbs held stiff
no eyes, only skin
to read the world, breathing
through the pores of a thousand leaves
and in one place for always.
the stillness
how to hold it all in silence,
the grace of fixedness
no haste, no going
standing, standing


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


Daniel G Scott is the current (5th) Artistic Director of the Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series. He has published gnarled love, terrains  and now Random Excess with Ekstasis Editions, and black onion and two chapbooks: street signs and Interrupted with Goldfinch Press.  He has individual poems in anthologies and chapbooks as well as numerous academic publications and, with Shannon McFerran, The Girls Diary Project (University of Victoria, 2013).  He won a one-act playwriting competition in New Brunswick in 1984. He is an Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, School of Child and Youth Care, father and grandfather.

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