Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

The Tree stands tall and majestic
in the heavy stillness of twilight,
when daylight is waning
and nightfall hasn’t yet taken hold.

There is a raw ambiguity in the air –
in this middle place –
one foot in this world,
the other stepping over the threshold to the next.

The Twigs,
with their tender, sensitive stems
of innocence and ambition,
fidget in the breeze,
lost in the complexity of transition.

The Twigs skitter about in the transitory uncertainty,
of whether to take one deep breath
and surrender to the tranquility of darkness,
of whether to franticly grasp
at the last twinkly pieces of sunshine.

In their agitated confusion,
the Twigs scuttle between enthusiasm for the anticipatory future
and nostalgia for the almost bygone present,
knowing where to go but not knowing how to get there.
Should they cling to trustworthy precedent?
Or launch themselves into fresh aspiration?

Intermingled with the Twigs are the Branches.
With their thick, sturdy stems
of experience and wisdom,
the Branches stand firm and balanced,
caressed by the sweetly wafting wind.

The Branches relinquish themselves to the certainty
of the moment,
that evening’s cool respite is inevitable,
that daylight’s wealth of opportunity will soon arrive again.

But in their cool reserve,
the Branches doubt their ambivalent acceptance
and question whether their stoicism is tolerance or indolence.
Should they float along the tide of change?
Or stir themselves into frenzied motivation?

And holding them all
gentle and secure,
is the Tree,
with its ageless beauty,
its sage prudence,
its confident flexibility.

The Tree
understands without knowing,
recognizes without seeing,
appreciates without comprehending.

For the Tree has suffered the pelting shards of the storms,
danced in the warm rays of sunshine,
slumbered in the blackness of night,
ever resilient to fluctuating external forces
because of its poised and spirited internal forces.

In this heavy stillness of the middle place
the Tree’s Twigs play a sweetly melodic tune with their restlessly rustling leaves
and the Tree’s Branches paint the horizon with unyielding silhouettes of patient resolve.

And the confusing fear and excited agitation of transition
is tempered by the sated hunger and expectant respite
that comes during those rare and precious moments
when the universe lays forth the best of both worlds,
when we are both parent and child,
teacher and student,
dynamic Twig and tolerant Branch.

Because standing there
in the lavender glow of twilight
is the graceful and Grace-filled Tree,
a vast network of lively Twigs
drawing strength from the serene, reliable Branches,
who, in turn, garner inspiration from the eager Twigs,
and together they strike a clumsy balance
within the heavy stillness
of that fleeting, transient middle place.

This post is part of the weekly Photo Inspiration Challenge.  Special thanks to Angie McMonigal Photography for her fabulous photos.  Make sure to visit her website or facebook page.



    • Christie

      Thank you. Your encouragement means a lot.

  1. That’s a really beautiful poem. I like how it builds from the weakest to the strongest part of the tree.

    • Christie

      Thanks so, so much. That really means a lot. I have just started dabbling in freeform poetry (this is my second one) and I find that I really enjoy it.

  2. Very elegant! My favorite line is “and together they strike a clumsy balance/ within the heavy stillness/ of that fleeting, transient middle place.” What a gorgeous way to end a poem!

    • Christie

      Thank you. That might be one of my favorite lines too 🙂

  3. A lot can be read into each stanza. I like that. As with many poems it offers up its secrets after a few readings. Very nice, Christie.

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