Poetry Friday: “In the Glen”

Now that I’m finally able to see my computer screen again, I’ve been spending my week furiously trying to get caught up on my voiceover business. I have auditions I need to record, scripts I need to write, and commercials I need to produce – and deadlines that are staring me down. So today, I’m reposting something I originally shared exactly one year ago, on July 19, 2013.

It’s a poem that will always be dear to my heart, not only because it was published but because it is both an adult AND a children’s poem – and since I’ve gained many new followers in the past year, I wanted to give them an opportunity to read it, if they wanted to.  For all of today’s Poetry Friday links and info, Tabatha Yeats is hosting the roundup at The Opposite of Indifference!


I don’t think I’ve ever posted a previously-published poem here, since I started this little blog nearly a year ago. Today, I am!

poetryfridaybutton-fulllThis was written at least 3 years ago, possibly longer – I wish I could find my original copy that had the completion date on it. But like most poems, it went through several revisions before I was finally happy with it, so it is the most recent revision I’m sharing now.

As I mentioned, this was previously published in the Tall Grass Writer’s Guild’s anthology, Seasons of Change (Outrider p|Press, 2010).  Although it’s a poem more geared to adults, younger folks may very well understand what I’m describing. (And I’m eager to see if you know what the poem is about, too!)


“In the Glen”

Old stump
rotting, torn by time, shredded with age
browned and blackened through fires and storms,
impassioned hooves and finely-honed axes.

Long ago, abandoned even by ants and mites and worms
who took what they could, consumed their fill
and, satiated and exhausted,
to scavenge elsewhere.
Rings once worn proudly
perfect, circumscribe –
nearly inscrutable
like the history they keep.

In younger years
its boughs bore fruit;
lush canopy,
a vessel.

years after boy,
as old stump dies
bark and pith and fiber
fall away
to compost
and one lone leaf –
green, young,
hopeful –
sprouts forth
from the remains…

old stump
once again

– © 2010, Matt Forrest Esenwine


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24 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “In the Glen”

  1. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Welcome! | Check It Out

  2. I like the reference to the rings-worn proudly. Good to take us through the journey as you did. I think I mostly bought my new home because of an ancient cottonwood right outside. Trees-special!


  3. How absolutely beautiful, Matt. I love poems about trees. I take so many pictures of them, I feel I must have lived as a dryad in my past life or in a parallel universe. These are my favorite lines:
    In younger years
    its boughs bore fruit;
    lush canopy,
    a vessel.
    – Gorgeous lines, Matt.


  4. Appropriate that Forrest should write about trees, right? I especially like the quiet strength behind the wearing away: “nearly inscrutable/
    like the history they keep.”


  5. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A trip back to my alma mater! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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