Poetry Friday: The Art of Painting Trees

Last week, my friend Molly Hogan wrote about stealing the title of a poem to write her own poem. This idea was intriguing to me and I filed it away for another day. Then, as I was thinking about a poem for this week’s tree-themed Poetry Friday Roundup at Christie Wyman‘s lovely blog, Wondering and Wandering, I came across an ad for this course: “The Art of Painting Trees.” How could I resist stealing that title? I couldn’t.

The Art of Painting Trees

When I was little,
drawing trees was simple:
two curved lines
with a brown crayon
topped by a puffy
green cumulus cloud.

Little did I know
a whole world
lay hidden beneath
those shifting shades of green.

Little did I imagine
the texture of bark,
sculpted by wind
and weather,
invaded by beetles
and birds,
where they crawled
and hummed
and thrived.

Techniques learned,
skills improved,
but what looked easy
was not so simple:
It takes a lifetime
to learn
the art of painting trees.

© draft, Catherine Flynn, 2019

William Alfred Delamotte, 1. (1806). On the Isis, Waterperry, Oxfordshire. Yale Center for British Art.

Thank you for hosting today, Christie, and for inspiring us to celebrate trees!

9 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Art of Painting Trees

  1. Way to take a challenge and make it work for you! Your precise word choice and the varied repetition of “little” really work. I’m also partial to that “puffy/green cumulus cloud”. Have you seen Heidi’s poem for PF? Yours and hers would pair well together!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Molly I am fond of the green cloud. We looked at trees differently then. I think of the song “Both Sides Now”. I’ve looked at trees from both sides now. I don’t know trees at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What a wonderful response to the challenge. I love the last line…it DOES take a lifetime to learn what look simple. Well done, Catherine!

    Liked by 1 person

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