Friday, April 29, 2022

Filling the Well: Jennifer Clement, Henry Cuyler Bunner, & Tori Amos (Arbor Day)

the tree is older than you are
and you might find stories 
in its branches.
– Jennifer Clement, from "Lemon Tree"
Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Since it is Arbor Day as well, I've chosen "Lemon Tree" as my #PocketPoem. You can find it in its entirety HERE.
The Arbor Day Foundation is celebrating 50 years of planting and distributing nearly 500 million trees to more than 50 countries around the world.
The Heart of the Tree
               Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896)
What does he plant who plants a tree?

  He plants a friend of sun and sky;

He plants the flag of breezes free;

  The shaft of beauty, towering high;

  He plants a home to heaven anigh;

     For song and mother-croon of bird

     In hushed and happy twilight heard—

The treble of heaven's harmony—

These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?

  He plants cool shade and tender rain,

And seed and bud of days to be,

  And years that fade and flush again;

     He plants the glory of the plain;

     He plants the forest's heritage;

     The harvest of a coming age;

The joy that unborn eyes shall see—

These things he plants who plants a tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?

  He plants, in sap and leaf and wood,

In love of home and loyalty

  And far-cast thought of civic good—

  His blessings on the neighborhood,

     Who in the hollow of His hand

           Holds all the growth of all our land—

A nation's growth from sea to sea

Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.
Tori Amos
"Speaking With Trees" from Ocean to Ocean
 Tori Amos talks about "Speaking With Trees" HERE.

 "How Trees Secretly Talk to Each Other in the Forest"


It's hard to believe tomorrow is the last day of April. (I guess I was able to manage a full month of daily posts after all!) Jone Rush MacCulloch is hosting our final Poetry Friday roundup of National Poetry Month 2022 and sharing her beautiful, meditative poem from IMPERFECT II. See you there!


  1. Happy Arbor Day -- and thanks for a wonderful month full of inspiration. Enjoyed Bunner's poem and hearing Tori Amos (was a big fan at the beginning of her career but somehow lost touch). As we speak, our tree man is cutting down one of our dead trees -- so it won't fall onto our neighbor's property. :)

  2. Beautiful tributes to trees -ANY DAY! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for all this wonderful stuff celebrating trees, Arbor Day, Michelle. I like my house, will have been in this 'new' home ten years this coming fall. It's a lovely home but the real reason I love it so are the trees that surround it, and one cottonwood right outside my side door that's estimated to be over 100 years old. The poem is so lovely, especially that "far-cast thought of civic good".

  4. TREE-mendous, usual. :)

  5. I didn't realize it was Arbor Day, but we did go to a nursery and buy two native shrubs. Forgot to get a cross-pollinator... If only we could speak with trees, it would have reminded us.

  6. Wow, what a fascinating video on trees talking and the relationship the hub trees have with other trees. Thanks for all the tree-luscious poems too!

  7. Hooray for a tree planting and a month of well-filling! Thank you, Michelle!