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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bestie (05/22/14)

TITLE: I Am a Tree and My Friend Is the Bark
By Virginia Lee Bliss


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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This article has been read 512 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/30/14
Always amazed at the complexity of your poems, so good and could easily stand up to the literary giants!

Beautiful, as always.

God bless~
Joe Moreland06/01/14
I read this the other day on my mobile and couldn't comment at the time (I'm all thumbs when it comes to typing on my phone); but I really wanted to.

This is the strangest little piece for me. It is so wonderfully complex, and yet so simple at the same time. People who can do this with words truly astound me. I would expect to see this in one of my daughter's textbooks as an example of this type of poetry...sorry I don't know enough to tell you what that is, but the meter here is really tight and the whole things flows effortlessly.

Awesome job!
lynn gipson 06/01/14
Wowee. If I could write poetry like this! This is the kind of writing I aspire to.

This is none less than gorgeous. I don't know what else to say, except it left me with peace in my heart and lifted my spirits.

Blessings, Lynn
Judith Gayle Smith06/01/14
Mar  06/01/14
Absolutely lovely, unique, beautiful poem!
Graham Insley06/01/14
You made me rethink the first lines from 'Trees' by Joyce Kilmer.

"I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree"

I think I just came very close.

Sheldon Bass 06/01/14
Absolutely beautiful! I'm not very good with poetry, but I find a stellar feeling of soaring within your verses. The rhythm is spot on and rhymes crisp and unforced. Thank you for the inspiration!
Noel Mitaxa 06/02/14
Brilliant for its economy of language, while conveying such warmth and depth.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/02/14
I particularly liked your very creative approach to this topic.
Barbara Mahler 06/04/14
May you know the peace and joy of your quest.
Joe Moreland06/05/14
I knew this one would finish highly this week. Great job and congratulations!
C D Swanson 06/05/14
Not a surprise to see you here Virginia!

Congratulations on such a beautiful and inspiring poem!

God bless~
Lillian Rhoades 06/05/14
Creative with excellent construction! Congratulations!
Leola Ogle 06/05/14
Beautiful, Virginia! Congratulations and God bless!
Tracy Nunes 06/06/14
I'd love to sit on your shoulder and watch you construct such a masterpiece. This puts the AWE in awesome.
Pauline Carruthers 06/08/14
Unusual and thought provoking topic. I loved this entry so much. So well written and inspiring. congratulations
Francy Judge 06/08/14
I enjoyed reading this again, having more time to slow down and appreciate the beauty in this poem. It flows perfectly with lovely imagery and metaphors. Great job with this creative entry. Congratulations!
Bea Edwards 06/11/14
Brilliant and creative way to approach this topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed all its wonderful nuances.

Thank you for sharing your masterful way with prose.
Bea Edwards 06/11/14
Brilliant and creative way to approach this topic.

I thoroughly enjoyed all its wonderful nuances.

Thank you for sharing your masterful way with prose.