Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Trees, Paintings, Illustrations

I've been thinking about trees a lot, lately. So much so that I even tried to make a painting of a tree which resulted in what you see above. Maybe I've been thinking about trees as Fall approaches and I want to embrace the memory of what trees look like in the Northeast U.S. in the Spring and Summer, before they change into those yellow, brown, auburn aging beauties. I think of the tree in front of the house I grew up in which shielded me from people who could see through my window. Never once, did I consider its roots. It died with a rubber tire looped around one of its highest branches thrown up their sometime in the 1980's. I don't recall the incident and forgot about the tubing for years only recalling it in moments when I happened to glance at it on my way out. Oh, how I took that wonderful tree for granted. I think of what trees mean to me as an American. And what they offered to my ancestors in the Caribbean. I now think of them as living and full of magic and spirit - capable of feeling the earth's joy as much as its agony. I hugged a tree a couple of weeks ago. Something I don't do often. It felt good to hug that tree. It felt more like a homecoming. A memory of something I had long since forgotten about nature and all of its silent spectators. It felt so good that I even wanted to kiss that tree. But I didn't go that far. People were watching and this city girl needs to walk before she runs. I didn't even ask the tree its name.

I created a poem about trees, however. Enjoy!

Witness the march
of naked, sodden trees
bark beings with
melodic tree-steps
falling rainwater.

Let flashes of lantern light
reveal their tree prints in mud:

These green,
greasy haired elders
lounge around verandas
in Summer-times
watered by sweet teas and
drunken soldier lemonades.
Wintertime snow-heads
carry Christmas gifts of pines,
Spring-times offer
churches their palms.

On farms, Cow-Trees milk their lemons
suns bake the cream tarts on windows,
and wiggle worms of apples.

Around each tree
roam the spirits
of black, fallen fruit
once considered strange.
Guilt and resentment
buried in tree-roots
at once being forced to dangle such
doomed jewelry.

Bark tattooed
with the exhalations of lovers
romances written on tree-skin
penned with knives

decapitated bodies
sold into lumber.

Each tree-stem and branch, a system
weighed down with knowledge
from haggard, hooting owls
gargoyles to tree-mouths
shut against its foliage-doors.
Behind it
you'll find yourself entering into
corridors full of sap -
and you'll experience yourself swimming in
the placenta of your roots.

by Tiffany Osedra Miller


Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/ Yahgie said...

I love the painting. The poem is really creative.

Nothing Profound said...

The painting reminds me of Magritte, another Surrealist. Not so much the style as the irony. The poem is magnificent. Once again, that strong unleashing and love of words and imagery.