1. I am a tree and bark he be;
My friend, the bark who shelters me.
Where e’er I be, nearby is he.
A refuge true, for me, the tree.
2. When morning light dispels the dark,
At break of day, arising lark 1
Sings as the sun begins its arc.
I thank God for my friend the bark.
3. My roots within the earth do lie
And drink the water flowing nigh.
A tree whose branches touch the sky
And brush the air where skylarks fly.
4. But sans my bark, I’d never be
The best that I could ever be.
I’d be a lone and fruitless tree,
But for my bark. A friend is he!
5. The wrappings of my bark without,
Shield me from all impending drought;
Protect my spirit from all doubt;
Keeping every chill wind out.
6. My friend the bark, he is my shield.
In face of harm he does not yield.
My inner soul he has concealed
From loss and pain, and thus I’ve healed.
7. In his hands, his strength I feel
As if he wields a sword of steel.
Yet does his gentle touch reveal
The chivalry that’s his ideal.
8. For me, the tree, does he inspire
The heights to which I can aspire.
In him is all that I admire.
My bark is all that I require.
9. He is my ship; he is my ark;
My sailing vessel and my barque;
The boat upon which I embark
Each day, a journey with my bark.
10. When e’er we walk, I’m on the lee
Side of my friend, the bark he be.
His gait in tune with mine, yet free.
As fluid as the flowing sea.
11. When our eyes meet across the room,
He’s all I need to lift the gloom
From my spirit, and I resume
My joie de vivre and cheerful bloom.
12. A rock he be; he sits near me.
No need to speak, nor to agree.
And when we share a cup of tea,
I revel in his blithe esprit.
13. For peace and joy, I made a quest.
When I found him, I reached the crest.
In his nearness, I feel at rest.
When he is nigh, my soul is blest.
14. Some rest beneath the apple tree 2
Or Kilmer’s “lovely as a tree”. 3
But I, a tree, who’s best for me.
My friend and bark is who he be.
1. Courtesy of William Shakespeare, 1609. Sonnet XXIX
2. Courtesy of Unknown Author, circa 1761. “Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree”
3. Courtesy of Joyce Kilmer, 1913. “Trees”
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