Thursday, May 11, 2023

Crooked Tree

Trees have long been trying to reach us. But they speak on frequencies too low for people to hear.
~Richard Powers, The Overstory

Happy Poetry Friday, y'all!

I watched the Poetry Out Loud finals last night, which was fun. I don't have a video of the winning poem recitation, but here's the winner:

I have more lyrics this week!

Crooked Tree by Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway:

Two trees in the forest, one was crooked, one was straight
Crimson bark and emerald needles growing day by day
And though they looked so different, they enjoyed the rain the same side by side
A chickadee had told them of a darkness on the land
Spinning blades that came to visit carried by a man
And every other tree would see them cut down where they stand by and by

Oh, can't you see
A crooked tree won't fit into the mill machine?
They're left to grow wild and free
Oh, I'd rather be a crooked tree

Perfect trees were driven down the mountain to the mill
They turned them into toothpicks and twenty dollar bills
It seemed the more the people took, the more they needed still in the end
The crooked trees were left there after all the work was done
Now they go for weeks and never witness anyone
No one left to tell them if they’re growing right or wrong but the whispering wind

People say I'm different and my way of life seems strange
I took the road less traveled, twists and turns along the way
But like the crooked tree, I'm growing stronger day by day as the clouds roll by
A river never wonders why it flows around the bend
A mountain doesn't question how it rose up from the land
So who am I to wish I wasn't just the way I am? Who am I?

Oh, can't you see
A crooked tree won't fit into the mill machine?
They're left to grow wild and free
Oh, I'd rather be a crooked tree


Addendum: Poetry Out Loud uploaded the winning performance after I posted this. It's here.

Robyn Hood Black has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Robyn!


Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, I MUST share this one with my students. I love it. Thank you for this poem. And, thank you for hosting the Summer Poem Swap. I need to get busy...these crooked tree fingers of mine.

Linda B said...

I saw about the Poetry Out Loud winner, Sreepadaarchana Munjuluri. She speaks so passionately, love listening to her. As for the poem full of lots of layers for our world, Tabatha. We owe much to those who are 'crooked trees'! Thanks!

laurasalas said...

Oh, this is stunning. Thank you, Tabatha. Fits perfectly with a future project I have coming out, too. Someday.

Carol Labuzzetta said...

Tabatha, I absolutely love this poem - The Crooked Tree is who we should all hope to be1 I will have to save it for future reference! Thanks for sharing - two of my favorite things are hope and nature - both found in this poem of discovery! Thank you!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Crooked trees, crooked paths - thank you, Dear Tabatha, for affirmations for all of our wonky branches. Beautiful to hear the song, and thanks for featuring the new Poetry Out Loud winner, too - it's always a (wonderful) road less traveled over here. xo

Janice Scully said...

I love the crooked tree song and thinking about crooked trees. Loved hearing Ms. Munjuluri speak and hearing her enthusiasm and confidence. So inspiring. Great post!

Patricia Franz said...

Gosh how I love this song! Here's to crooked trees! We have trees that grow with large bends, like large letter J's. They bend and hold the snow each season. A reminder how trees care for the rest of us.

Mary Lee said...

I checked out your video of the Poetry Out Loud winner and then the recording of her winning reading of "The New Colossus" popped up and I watched that. What a performance! What a perfect poem for These Times. What a young woman of poise and intelligence. She gives me an extra dose of hope for the future.

Michelle Kogan said...

Appreciations for this rich and textural post Tabatha, the transcending reading of poetry in Poetry Out Loud and performance of “ Crooked Tree” 💖 all!

Rose Cappelli said...

Thank you, Tabatha for all the poetry passion in this post. I enjoyed listening to the song.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I feel like anyone who is feeling despair about the future just needs to watch a few of these young people reciting poems. I have a whole new appreciation for Emma and Lady Liberty now. How wonderful. Let's plan to attend the finals next year in 2024!