Saturday, January 18, 2014


image borrowed from bing


“On each side of the river, flowing from the throne of God,
stands the Tree of Life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, its leaves
used for the healing of the Nations.”--Revelation (22: 1-2)

Man’s mind & body, his entire history
has been rooted & connected
to the Tree;

beyond the miracle of photosynthesis,
which provides us with oxygen, 
the Tree is associated with all forms
of philosophy, theology, & mythology,

representing all aspects of creation, 
the World Tree, the Cosmic Tree,
from fecundity to immortality.

In Christianity, where most of us
were introduced to the Tree,
it stands for the immaculate state of humanity
before the Fall, standing in the middle
of the Garden, symbolic of man’s will,
his very heart & core, revealing
the exact moment when he was given
“free will”;

while some zealots believe that
the Cross was the true Tree of Life,
& that Christ’s body and blood
were its fruit.

In Judaism the Tree is called
Etz Chiam, & it is a synonym
for yeshivas & synagogues.

In Norse mythology, the Tree
was called Yggdrasil,
& it belonged to Thor, a sacred
massive yew, ash, or oak,
it connected the 9 realms
of Asgard. 

In the Koran, the Moslems call it
the Tree of Immortality, 
stating that both
Adam & Eve ate of its fruit,
thus directly disobeying Allah.

In ancient Persia
the World Tree
could bear all seeds.

In ancient Egypt,
it was the Acacia Tree,
where Isis & Osirus emerged,
containing DMT, a psychedelic
drug that enhanced spirituality.

In Armenia, the Tree
was a religious symbol
drawn on the walls of fortresses
& carved into battle armor.

In China, the Tree
is made of bronze, topped
by a phoenix & guarded by a dragon,
bearing one peach every 3000 years,
& whoever eats it will become

Personally, when it comes to trees,
I was influenced early on
by poet Joyce Kilmer:

I think that I shall never see
a poem as lovely as a tree--
poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Poetics

would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Brian Miller said...

probably one of the most well known lovely as a tree...surely that would be is interesting how trees intersect with our beliefs and christianity the tree is there again at the end of all things (rev 22:2)....i def have an affinity for trees...

Brian Miller said...

i like all the connections you found from around the world...

(sorry hit publish before my thoughts finished)...smiles...happy saturday

Gabriella said...

Beautiful quote before ypur poem, Glenn! Most informative piece. I enjoyed learning about the traditions I did not know. I used the concept of Tree of Life too but went a very different way.

Björn said...

Oh you captured so much of my own thoughts on trees... It's the core of humanity to some extent... And poetry can only carbon copy the tree... Great trip Glenn.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. You have incorporated the importance of trees in many cultures.
In Hinduism, there is a well known tree by the name of Kalpavriksha. As far as I know(based on my knowledge of Hindi), Kalpa is a Hindi word for aeon and Vriksha is definitely a Hindi word for tree. This tree is believed to fulfill all the wishes.

I really liked your piece and of course, the wonderful verse of Joyce Kilmer.


Anonymous said...

Loved the roundiung out the end the way you did Glenn. >KB

Ronald Shields said...

an important lesson on how universal and important the tree is as a symbol across the you that verse was probably my introduction to the tree beyond something to climb.

Laurie Kolp said...

One thing's for sure... I share a universal love of trees!

Claudia said...

ha cool... yes..only god can make a tree...i find them fascinating...and very cool how you wove the different backgrounds a meaning together glenn...Yggdrasil...yes...i remember this...

Mary said...

Glenn, your poem gave me a deeper appreciation of the significance of the tree. Loved learning the meanings & the symbolism. I like the way you eded with the Joyce Kilmer quote.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

YES! I think the first poem I ever knew was "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree...." my love for trees and poetry was born in that moment, around grade three. I was interested in reading all of the historical allusions to trees. I enjoyed this post very much.

Grace said...

Interesting facts about the trees specially the one from China ~ Surely it shows our deep connection with trees regardless of faith or country ~

I also love that quote ~

vivinfrance said...

Your final stanza is perfect.

Anonymous said...

A lovely poem, surely doing all trees great pleasure.

billgncs said...

perhaps we didn't descend from the trees, but grew from them.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem about trees. I like how you showed that the Tree is both in the beginning and the end (which is technically the true beginning :-)). I loved the quote you included as well.

Abruvanamedsly said...

Man’s mind & body, his entire history has been rooted & connected to the Tree;...

...these opening lines and the quote from Revelations grabbed my attention. So glad they did...I love when I learn from a poem. Thank you for the tree education.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Love trees Glenn - so glad of this prompt - it has opened our imaginations.
Anna :o]

Wolfsrosebud said...

a little out of your ball park... I liked what you did with this topic... nice research too... cool picture