The Departing Oak

July 15, 2013
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In the flowing nature of October, where the rich smell of death looms,
acorns bounce against the decaying ground of fallen leaves.
They departed from the branch that reached to the sun,
reaching up to it like an insect to a headlight.
Hope, hope, was all they had;
would either swerve to achieve its goal?
Was it to reach the light,
or have it avoid them like a fungus in the damp confinement of the roots?

Like at the train station, they wave in the wind,
softly, smoothly, gently;
bidding farewell, hopeless as they fall to the ground.
The leaves falling to their grave,
soaring through the air, they ended gladly;

Without the great structure that held it, they were nothing;
they faded into the undergrowth, never to be seen, nor ever noticed.
Vanishing segments of something once great,
the leaves mourned their own departure for the doubt of remembrance.

Buried, but without a trace of a tombstone,
their bodies lost in the grass and filth.
Mother nature dies, yet nobody notices;
time has passed and others left too.
The wind of the train flying past took the last of the leaves off of the great oak,
catching its suffering depression in its headlights.

Hope was lost and hatred unearthed;
they all abandoned each other, and the great tree wilted.
Alone to rake the leaves together,
disheartened as their screams in the wind blew their stubbornness through the gathering.
Either becoming dust of buried nature, or blowing far away, just to rid themselves of the pain.
From our great family tree, I was the last to leave.

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This article has 46 comments. Post your own now!

Luv4Ever said...
May 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm
nice use of words to ensnare your reader, keep it up^^
BlackbeltJames replied...
May 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :)
Nobuo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm
Terrific, multi talented. You're one lucky guy to have such skills
BlackbeltJames replied...
Apr. 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm
Haha, wow, thanks! :D
E.J.Mathews This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm
Hey, BlackbeltJames, sorry this took so long for me to read this, anyways I really liked this piece! I'm not very educated in the ways of poetry, so I can't criticize your structure or anything like that, but I really liked the overall flow of the poem. The story to the poem was also very unique, and wonderful to read. Great job!
BlackbeltJames replied...
Sept. 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm
Don't worry its fine, I have school too, I know how it feels. Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and found the hidden meaning.
Netnel said...
Sept. 20, 2013 at 9:25 am
This was an amazing poem that was very thought provoking I loved the last line, especially, the way it pulls the whole thing together. It was very nice.
BlackbeltJames replied...
Sept. 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm
Thanks, i'm glad you enjoyed it so much :D
WishfulDoer said...
Sept. 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm
This was a very complex poem. I loved how it maintained a poetic rhythm but still sounded like a story. I love the suspense of it, and as soon as you reach the last line everything just makes sense. Great poem!
BlackbeltJames replied...
Sept. 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm
Yeah, I'm more of a story writer, so this poem probably reflected that, but the concept of the poem was to be everything you said, just for that end that brings it all together. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
Iyanna D. said...
Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm
This poem is excellent. Right from the beginning i can read out the sense of imagery and the poem just flows wonderfully. I can make the literal connection and I get the deeper meaning too. Great metaphor you used.
BlackbeltJames replied...
Sept. 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Thanks, I'm really glad you enjoyed it and understood it :D
tori-gurl said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm
The last line definitely pulls the entire poem together. I loved it! All of the imagery that you used to help pull this piece together definitely made the poem more alive. Using the nature and tree metaphors was definitely helpful in your illustration of what family means and how it can all fall apart very easily. I do believe that the underlying message should be illustrated a little better so that people are aware of what you are displaying through your art :) It should just be made more clear... (more »)
BlackbeltJames replied...
Aug. 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm
All comments help, but yours was very constructive, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
Jade.I.Am This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 9, 2013 at 11:11 am
I like the connection at the end to a family tree. Maybe that connection was a part of the "deeper meaning"? Regardless, I think my favorite line was "Without the great structure that held it, they were nothing;/they faded into the undergrowth, never to be seen, nor ever noticed." This is such a pretty poem, if sad, and I liked the depiction of decay, the loss of hope, and all that. Really cool. Keep writing :)
BlackbeltJames replied...
Aug. 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Yep, that is the deeper meaning, because if the tree that is wilting is a family tree, and I'm refuring to death and the last leaf has fallen - you can probably make the connection and understand it.
Yes it is sad, but only if when you concentrate on its true meaning. I'm glad you enjoyed it :D
Midnight5765 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm
I think the deeper meaning is how people feel about crossing onto the other side. I've checked out you other works and how long there were. I'm glad you write discriptive and lengthly writings to get your reader hooked.
BlackbeltJames replied...
Aug. 9, 2013 at 6:25 am
Well its down to your own interpretation, but your close. I'm glad you enjoyed it though :D
OldYoungOne said...
Aug. 8, 2013 at 9:34 am
This is a very thought provoking piece. I loved the vivid imagery and underlying meaning. I liked that this poem didn't force the reader to overthink but had them use thier brain. I do agree it could flow better because in the longer sentences I feel it dragged.
BlackbeltJames replied...
Aug. 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm
yeah, I agree in some aspects, but it can be hard to fit it all in. Thanks for your comment :)
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