I ran across some poetical musings of mine from years ago that I thought might be interesting to share. (Just for future reference, I try to archive some of my inspirations on the Music Page of the main site). This is just a kind of free verse poetry. I wanted to focus on description and story without the confines of meter or rhyme. In fact, I originally wrote it in paragraph form. But I like how the poetic form highlights the descriptive phrases. I hope you find it a blessing!

tree

The Tree [2009]

As I emerged into the clearing,
my gaze was first fixed
upon the silvery stream.
Clear and crystalline,
a stone-toss in width,
it wound its way,
winking a thousand little suns,
through the verdant valley.

And then, the tree.
Sage and serene,
wise and weathered,
it gripped the ground near the water’s edge,
immovably rooted by the life-giving vein—
its lush, leafy canopy letting only a few
jagged patterns of light
dance under its shelter.

As I looked, scenes like phantoms
faded in and out before my view:
a little girl reading her favorite book,
wiry legs swinging happily
on a low branch near the bank;
a group of whooping boys
launching boldly out into the stream
from a knotted rope fixed
to a sturdy upper limb;
a pair of picnicking young lovers
lying in the shade, pointing,
laughing at menageries of animals
floating by in the clouds above;
a stray mare, taking refuge from a fierce storm,
calmly mowing the dry grasses underneath;
an old man perched on a root,
pulling on his pipe
before resuming his afternoon walk;
a family grave-side gathering
over a small, solitary headstone.

And I remembered wise words,
ancient words from the Scriptures:
“Blessed is the man who walks not
in the counsel of the wicked…
but his delight is in the law of the Lord…
He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.” 1
“In the fear of the Lord
one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.” 2
“Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.” 3

This tree, rough and wrinkled,
suddenly seemed to me more beautiful
than the smoothest skin—
its earthy fragrance more intoxicating
than the sweetest perfume.
I longed with all my life
to be like this tree:
deeply, desperately rooted
by the living streams of God’s Word;
to be to my family and to all
who wandered into my shadow
a life-long safe-haven of love—
a sage, sturdy refuge of truth—
a life heavy with the fruit of the Spirit.

1 Psalm 1:1-3
2 Proverbs 14:26
3 John 15:5

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About the Author Paul Keew

Christ-follower, husband, father, composer, hymnwriter, singer, creator of Watchsong.com, fellow-struggler in the fight for joy...all by God's grace.

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