Sunday, September 28, 2008

Love Affair with the Santa Barbara Moreton Bay Fig Tree

And then I saw you, silhouetted on the sidewalk.

Like a thousand eyes watching, no part of me left unseen.

Limb by limb, shoulder by shoulder, learning you petal by petal.

Snake-like and certain, our tongues smell earth, breeze, ocean mist.

A fence may stand between us, but I still feel your electricity;

gaze on your sweet under-places luminous with sunrise.

I reach up as you reach up, bend back and breathe in;

shimmy in the warmth of new day and clap, extend a fresh leaf on each bright finger.

I take pictures of your curves so I can stare at you alone, smooth my finger along forbidden branches; sigh.

Your infinite patience dwarfs me. I leave you smaller than I began.

Quietly I admire your persistent fruitfulness, your marriage of mathematics and magic.

We listen closely together to hear above the highway, small moments flicker as shadow follows shadow.

I want to sit back to trunk with you; exhale, close my eyes and wait for understanding.

* * *

© 2008 Jade Leone Blackwater

For The Festival of the Trees 28: Art and Arboreality

October 1, 2008.

The Festival of the Trees is a monthly blog carnival hosted at a different blog each month. The theme for the Festival of the Trees 28 is "Art and Arboreality", which will be published on Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

I'm still accepting a few late entries, so if you would like to participate just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Let a tree inspire you today.

  2. Share your creation at your blog.

  3. Email me your submission: jadeblackwater [at] brainripples [dot] com.

PS - Special preference given to all you fortunate folks seeing those beautiful autumn colors!!! Won't some kind, northerly blogger send me a sumptuous sugar maple in autumn color?


  1. wow.I always wish that one day I can have a relationship with trees like this. The beautiful poem reminds me of Tagore. Recently I'm trying to read some writings of Matsuo Bashō.To be frank, I see more such writings/feelings in eastern cultures (Asian) than in western cultures. I don't really know why, there are a lot of reasons. In Christianity thinkings, human is the most important center, everything else is but subordinates, common people tend to emphasize the happiness within the one life; while in eastern Buddhist teachings, life is not just once, but eternal with reincarnations. Trees are respected for their longer life. One thing that I noted recently is that in China (actually I believe also in Japan and Korea, and possibly India) tree names,as well flower names and animal names, are used in people's names.Almost all the names of every common tree is used in people's names.There is nothing like this in western countries, no one is called "Pine", "Plum", etc.
    above all, you really write a beautiful poem! Hope to see more like this! :)
    Thanks for the beautiful post!

  2. Hello, thank you so much for your kind compliments. You are correct in that Westerners do not use nearly so many tree names for people names - but I sure wish we did! I think I could be happy if I were named Hemlock or Maple or Apricot. :)

    Thank you again for visiting and sharing your thoughts.


  3. I grew up in southern California and visited Santa Barbara many times, even lived there for six months once . . . seeing your photos is like seeing an old friend. I always loved that tree.

  4. It's such a small world we live in, no? :)

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  6. Sometimes, it's love at first sight You always know.

  7. Gorgeous photos. Your poem is lovely.

  8. lovely interweaving of photos and words

  9. Hello JLB,

    a nice blog about trees, thanks !
    I really appreciate the tremendous fig tree.
    We may share photos some day...


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