Thursday, November 9, 2017

DMC: "True Whole" by Rebekah Hoeft


When viewed as whole,
the forest holds
a charm, a beauty undenied.
In seasons all
its splendor proved:
balletic boughs and leaves that hide
the dirty work,
the underside.
Inspection shows the grit, the grind,
the work that goes
unnoticed and
the workers that are oft-maligned.
The hyphae spread
their tendrils: webbed
destruction, ruin reaped, stage set
for comrades raid
the remnant woods.
Detritivores: they aid, abet,
they squirm, they ooze,
they crawl, they flit.
Death-eaters singly seen disgust
but duty-bound
they persevere.
With careful study, eyes adjust.
We view the woods’
true whole, not part.
The rot, the foul: ‘tis forest breath.
Diverse the work
complex the dance;
we see how life renews in death.

© 2017 Rebekah Hoeft. All rights reserved.

Click HERE to read this month's interview with Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books, divisions of Lerner Publishing Group. Her challenge this month is to write a poem that finds beauty in something that is not usually considered beautiful.

Post your poems on our November 2017 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, November 24th. One lucky participant will win a copy of The Sun Played Hide-and-Seek: A Personification Story by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Carol Crimmins, and published by Millbrook Press earlier this year.


  1. I love the vocab in this one--detritivores--what a great word! Balletic, hyphae, Death-eaters, etc. Well done!

    1. Thanks, Diane! That was a new word for me.

    2. Does anyone know if it would have been more scientifically accurate to say "Fungi hyphae:/webbed tendrils spread"
      I struggled with that part because it seemed redundant to say hyphae spread their tendrils since they ARE the tendrils.

  2. I may not have been an English major or a teacher who geeks out about sciency things, but I really do dig this poem, Rebekah. What a splendid mix of lyrical and informational!

    1. :) Thanks, Michelle! I had fun researching and writing.

  3. When one digs down into the forest floor, it 'is" alive and loose, too. You've shown it well, Rebecca. I love "Death-eaters singly seen disgust/but duty-bound /they persevere." My students and I became very interested in slime mold a long time ago, part of what you're complimenting.

    1. Thanks, Linda! I appreciate your kind words! Slime molds are fascinating--gross in name and sometimes appearance (while also beautiful) but so amazing!

  4. So many parts of this to love - like "balletic boughs and leaves that hide the dirty work". Good rhythm and rhyme, too!

    1. Thank you, Donny. Balletic boughs was one of my favorite parts to write.

  5. Rebekah: What a stunning poem! I am a big fan of both forests and poems, but now... Forest breath will never be the same... ;0) Thanks for this poem. I really dig it.

    1. Thanks, Karen! I am also a of forest and poems. And poems about forests. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Rebekah their is so much depth in each of your words really bring beauty and real life meaning of a forest to life wonderful rhyme and meaning of sciences in your poem

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I'm o glad you found beauty in it.

  7. Rebekah, what a beautiful poem. I read it over three times and noticed three different things that I absolutely loved about it. Forest breath. :-)

    1. Thanks, Robyn! Don't you feel like sometimes the only place you can get a good breath is in the forest--something to do with the rotting and death?! :)