Finally a New Poem for May: TREES but not the one you think

I have written only once since I have been back from India. It is as though losing the habit; the rhythm of writing regularly has shaken me. I suppose it is the same as not walking, not going to Pilates. I feel as if when I went to India I allowed myself to say, oh forget about anything other than what you want to do in any given moment in the day.

I feel as if I have dropped the ball on writing, on walking, on editing, on doing anything but thinking and existing in a mesmerized state. Oh yes I do on occasion rally to respond to email, or figure out college graduation and cook meals, but really I am a kind of ghost. This is not an unhappy state, but one where I feel very guilty. And who am I letting down?

Myself for not writing more, achieving more. A reader or two. My body for feeling slug-like and loving it.

In truth I have not picked a poem for May and the month is one third finished. I have one on my desktop, which came to me from Googling poems about the month of May, not very original. And up popped this poem,

Trees by Philip Larkin

The trees are coming into leaf

Like something almost being said;

The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again

And we grow old? No, they die too,

Their yearly trick of looking new

Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh

In fullgrown thickness every May.

Last year is dead, they seem to say,

Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

And here I went astray again. I look back and see the wonderful poem on insomnia and I think that is the one, that is the one I want to memorize. And I copy it. I do not copy Trees, which I am afraid makes me think of Joyce Kilmer, you know again third grade, I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree . .  Ok that’s all I have left from decades ago.

I lost my way in part because of choice, an abundance of choice, which often gives me a swelter of frozen inactivity. I become lost when the choices are too great.

And so for April I wanted to learn the first few lines of Elliot and then I shifted to Edna St Vincent Millay and babbling April fools and finally I went away to India for two weeks and was lost in a wave of physical poetry, finally I did memorize the beautiful Jewel of Stars.

All through the trip I kept attempting to replay the troika of poems since the year and project  began. And it is funny because the lines which gave me pause, trouble, stuttering, from the get go, are still the ones, where I trip. I am wondering if I should  take a hiatus in July and review the first six poems. As I fear they are

Trees waving in the unrest of spring

now becoming a jumble in my head.

And as to the walking, it has not gotten better. I am always looking for a way to justify why it is not the moment. Why I have already done enough today. Why do I want to be out on my bike, or yanking weeds out by the gallon but have not interest it slowly or speedily making my way across a landscape?


Please excuse the clumsy photo insert. I am attempting to integrate new skills into the blog. Photos and perhaps music, video, dancing girls or mewing cats. Who knows?  It is all an attempt to keep modern or at least stay last century.

2 responses to “Finally a New Poem for May: TREES but not the one you think

  1. Spring is a stealthy one, always trying to make us hope. Ask for proof!

  2. I’m feeling the same as if I am in a constant state of frozen limbs and while I am a spring baby I always look forward to month of May and the potentials it can bring and alas I am once again not seeing any newness as the the trees and flowers come alive and share all their newness with us so proudly declaring their new birth; I am actually holding them in deep contempt.

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