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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)

TITLE: A Deciduous Dilemma
By Kenn Allan


In a meadow, on a hill,
From seeds the breeze had sown,
There grew a broad and stately tree;
Its species quite unknown.

Winter, summer, fall, and spring,
It reached for distant skies,
And drove its mighty roots down deep,
To maximize its size.

One spring day (or was it fall?),
The tree began to ponder,
"Should I remain upon this hill,
"Or pull up roots and wander?"

"For all the good I might have done,
"And deeds I might do still,
"Might never happen if I stay,
"Alone upon this hill."

Just then, a passing raven heard
The tree's forlorn lament,
With feathers flying everywhere,
He swooped in wild descent.

For ravens prey upon the dead,
And feast on broken dreams,
They seldom pass upon the chance,
To hatch their wily schemes.

He'd never known a tree to walk,
The best he could recall,
So it would be an awesome sight,
To watch the timber fall.

“Poor tree,” he squawked in raucous tones,
Perched high upon a branch,
“Methinks perhaps it’s best ye go;
“Don’t miss this splendid chance!”

“To travel ‘round from shore to sky,
“Would surely be a thrill,
“So rip thy roots out of the earth,
“And leave this blasted hill!”

The tree considered with delight,
How different life would be,
To grow upon a mountaintop,
Or gaze upon the sea.

But could it really walk the earth?
So, with the raven’s urging,
It pulled and tugged upon its roots;
The sap within it surging.

When from the meadow flew a dove,
Who sensed some trouble brewing,
She landed on the writhing root,
And cooed, “What are you doing?”

"You cannot live on mountain peaks,
"Your roots would starve in stone,
"And seacoast sand is far too loose,
"In which to make your home."

“Your place is here, atop this hill,
“To move would be absurd!“
“Abandon all these fruitless dreams,
“Hatched by that awful bird!”

The raven tossed a haughty sniff,
“How dare you interfere!
“If this brave tree would rather go,
“It's cruel to keep it here.”

"For all the good it might have done,
"And deeds it might do still,
"Will never happen if it stays,
"Alone upon this hill."

Trees are not too smart, you see,
In fact, they're rather dense,
So what he heard the raven quote,
Made quite a lot of sense.

"Thank you, Raven," said the tree,
"For stating how I feel,
"And how I must enhance my days,
"To heighten their appeal."

"The seasons pass, I'm growing old,
"But not appreciated,
"It's time I move to greener grass,
"And leave this hill vacated."

The dove sat thinking long and hard,
With furrowed feathered brow,
She must convince the tree to stay,
But wasn't sure quite how.

Then, like a bolt out of the blue,
Her strategy unfolded,
She pecked the tree hard on its root,
"Now listen here!" she scolded.

"Next spring, what shelter will we use,
"To hide from April showers?
"Whose arms will hold the soil in place,
"For budding springtime flowers?"

"In summertime when children romp,
"With laughter, games, and singing,
"Where will they eat their picnic lunch,
"Or hang their tires for swinging?"

"When autumn leaves begin to fall,
"And skies turn steely gray,
"Where will the squirrels hide their nuts,
"When you have gone away?"

"The winter snow and icy winds,
"Make flying quite unpleasing,
"But where will all the birds repose,
"To keep their feet from freezing?"

"When you were planted on this hill,
"God did so with good reason,
"Without your knowledge, you have helped,
"A soul in every season."

"But all the good already done,
"And deeds you might do still,
"Will be forgotten or ignored,
"If you leave your special hill."

"I shall remain here at your side,
"Should other doubts arise,
"To help you see the things you do,
"Or quell the raven's lies."

"Oh, I give up!" The raven fled,
Regretting ever fought her,
(Last I heard, that dirty bird,
Was coaxing fish from water).

And in the meadow, since that day,
Upon the chosen hill,
There stands a proud and stately tree,
Content to do God’s will.

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This article has been read 1782 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Grover12/12/05
Yes!! I was drawn in by the meter and suspense! Well done! Like one of an Aesop's fables.
Ann Grover12/12/05
Sorry... like ONE OF Aesop's fables.
Steve Clark12/12/05
Beautifully done! I think we have a winner here. To carry the story through the shifts and changes of the characters' decisions while keeping to the meter and the rhyming pattern is a wonderful feat. On top of being a well-written piece, it also reaches deep into the hearts of all of us who too easily yearn for a seemingly "better" place in life. Bravo!!
Judy Anderson12/12/05
Quite a ride with melody on the wings of good and evil! Well done! Thanks!
Crista Darr12/12/05
Linda Watson Owen12/12/05
oh, what an absolute treat! I love this story poem...and what a sermon it preaches!
Pat Guy 12/13/05
Bravo on a great and talented feat! One the reader enjoys reading again and again!
James Clem 12/13/05
Need to add this one to favorites list!
Suzanne R12/14/05
This is just brilliant!!!! From the title which led me to click on it to the plot, the rhyme and rhythm, the message - just everything! Can't wait to found out who this talented poet is!
Jan Ackerson 12/14/05
I agree with everyone else about how wonderful this poem is, so I'll just say one tiny thin g about quotation marks: you don't need so many of them, and your poem will look better if you edit some away. For example:

One spring day (or was it fall?),
The tree began to ponder,
"Should I remain upon this hill,
Or pull up roots and wander?

For all the good I might have done,
And deeds I might do still,
Might never happen if I stay,
Alone upon this hill."

You only need those two, to begin and end the tree's words. It'd be similar for other stanzas.

Delightful poetry!
Julianne Jones12/15/05
Beautiful. Your talent really shines through in this piece: rhyme, rhythm, message, insight, everything! Well done.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/15/05
When I quote my favorite poet Joyce Kilmer - "Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree"; I will now have to put a footnote ***with the exception of .."Blank Blank", (who will remain nameless until 12/19/05) AND who is definitely no fool! This poet knows whereof he or she speaks and writes!
A fantabulous work of artistry! Bravo and Kudos!
Cassie Memmer12/16/05
Wonderful, wonderful! What a joyous and fun read! You did an excellent job!
The Tornyn12/16/05
My favorite yet!!! Your family must be "QUITE" proud!!!
Shari Armstrong 12/17/05
This was absolutely inspired! The quotes at the beginning of every line was a bit distracting, but that's an easy fix :) I could see this published with wonderful watercolor illustrations.
Val Clark12/19/05
A really delightful read! Thank you so much. I can imagine this as an illustrated children's story book. Yeggy.
Anita Neuman12/19/05
WOW!! Congratulations on your well-deserved win. This is masterful poetry - a definite contender for "Best of the Best". GREAT JOB!!!!!
Kris St. James12/19/05
Excellent! A well deserved win.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/19/05
Didn't I say "Poems are made by fools like me, (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF "Kenn Allan") but only God can make a tree."? Congratulations!!
Sally Hanan12/19/05
Excellent work, and please do send it to some publishing houses as a possible storybook.
Betsy Markman12/19/05
Unbelievably imaginative and engaging. Excellent work! I agreee with everyone else that this would make a great children's book.
Deborah Bauers12/19/05
This was an outstanding poetic piece. The gentleness and veracity of the dove, coupled with the contrast of the raven's evil trickery made for delightful reading. I thought of the passage of scripture that teaches us that our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with a supernatural host, good and evil. Congratulations! A job well done!
Benjamin Stephens12/19/05
Dude - you rock! Congrats. :o)
Daniele Moskal12/20/05
Congratulations my precious friend in Christ Jesus! This is a most excellent piece of writing and worthy of great recognition. Remain blessed my friend and keep stirring-up the unique God given gift .
Debbie OConnor12/21/05
What a delight from start to finish. Excellent work. Congratulations!
Gabrielle Morgan12/27/05
A well deserved win. A very creative piece. A great title to the poem and a great read which drew me in.
Kristopher Cox02/04/06
I generally don't like poems but this one was awesome!
Elizabeth Baize04/03/07
Wow! This was so beautifully crafted with quite a level of suspense. I knew it must turn out okay, but at times, I wasn't sure how it was going to resolve. The conclusion was perfect.