Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Haiku #23

The Garage- You can see where the bricks are coming apart.
You can also see the ladder on top of the garage. It's an extension ladder
and doesn't even reach the top of the tree. 
The Tree on Saturday
The tree cutter is at the top of the extension ladder.
There is another guy on top of the garage and one on the ground. 
Another shot on Saturday.
The greenery is from a big pine tree right next to the tree being cut down.

Looking up from the bottom of the ladder.
This is how much is still left to cut down.
They think it will take a couple of more days. 

"To My Tree"
For half a century
you have provided
beauty shade oxygen
I am so sorry
to chop you down. 
(C) Carol Wilcox

"To My Tree"
For half a century
you have provided
beauty shade oxygen
I apologize for murdering you
so ruthlessly. 
(C) Carol Wilcox

"To My Tree"
Branch by painstaking branch
A half century's beauty 
gone in a week. 
(C) Carol Wilcox, 2015

A few process notes: I am learning a lot from writing with some very talented poets this month.
1) Haiku are not supposed to have a title.
2) Even though or maybe because they don't have very many words, haiku are really hard/take a really long  to write.
3) Haiku often have one line with really big truth. I call it the kicker line. The kicker line is really, really hard to write.
4) There is another similar kind of Japanese poetry called a tanka. A tanka has five lines. Often the five lines have two really different images. The two images are connected by a kicker line called a hinge. The hinge is really hard to write.
Because I tend to be a little, ok actually a lot, wordy, I often start with a longer poem, kind of a tanka, and then try to cut it and make it into a haiku. The last few days, I have published both the longer poem-- today it's two), and the haiku. The last line in the haiku is never as good as I want it to be. It will bug me all day.

Backstory behind this poem: I live in a hundred year old house, with a detached alley garage. Five years ago, when I moved in, the home inspector recommended that I make the previous owners cut down a huge tree in the backyard. He told me that in another ten years, the tree would move the foundation of the garage and I would have to have the tree cut down. I didn't have the tree cut down. I just couldn't chop down that beautiful tree. I thought I could enjoy the tree for another decade and then I would figure something out.

Now, only five years later, the tree is definitely impacting the foundation of the garage, and this summer, I made the really hard decision to have it cut down. The tree cutters have been working for over a week, and are still probably several days from being done. I know it has to be done (if I don't want the garage to fall down), and it is really kind of interesting (and scary) to watch, but it also makes me really sad to cut down my tree.


Linda B said...

I hope I'm in another house before I need to cut my huge and old cottonwood. I'm sorry for your tree, & understand. You've written some lovely words as tribute.

Steve Peterson said...

Love these poems as well as the haiku you posted on Twitter earlier! I also like reading your process notes about writing and about the tree demolition. I cut trees for firewood (mostly already dead, but some of them still DO have to fall...) and I would most definitely NOT attempt such a difficult felling. scary!

I have really enjoyed writing and thinking about writing with you this December. Thank you for sharing your work!

Mom Of Many said...

I'm very sorry you had to have your big huge tree cut down. Merry Christmas Carol!! PS Good joy on the haiku!!

Leigh Anne Eck said...

When I stop and think about how old some trees are, I am just amazed at how long they have been around. To think your tree was 100! I have enjoyed writing haiku this month...although I have missed a few days. You are right about that "kicker." I still have trouble with that. But I am learning from some of the best!

Mary Lee said...

Such a hard decision to sacrifice this ancient life...