Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Poem to Start the Week: Trees

All lined up to greet travelers through the Gate of Opportunity.

I did a Google search of the first line of this little poem to find a complete copy I could use here: there are some little plagiarists out there folks! I found two slightly altered versions attributed to children. One little crook was among the winners of a library poetry contest of all places, and another little fellow published "his" in India. The Indian one is different enough that a footnote credit to ol' Harry would solve the problem - maybe that was even the assignment, who knows?

Look carefully, a pair of bluebirds in the school forest, yesterday.

Anyway as I looked at the silhouettes of bare trees out my window here, I thought to submit Harry Behn's little poem as my poem to start this week. This one comes in handy for an elementary school science teacher like myself.

A recent death in our school forest.

Trees are the kindest things I know,
They do no harm, they simply grow
And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
And gather birds among their boughs.

They give us fruit in leaves above,
And wood to make our houses of,
And leaves to burn on Halloween
And in the Spring new buds of green.

They are first when day's begun
To touch the beams of morning sun,
They are the last to hold the light
When evening changes into night.

And when a moon floats on the sky
They hum a drowsy lullaby
Of sleepy children long ago...
Trees are the kindest things I know.

by Harry Behn

Last fall along our school nature trail.

Of course our sleek little Baretta -- the one Sheila had so kindly parked in the kind shade of the huge old kind Possum Oak that steamy July day -- might have had a different opinion of trees than Harry after Ol' Possum Oak smushed that little car flat right there in our front yard.

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