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!

SwanSong This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 30, 2013 at 10:05 am
Sorry this took so long to get back to you, I thought I posted comments a few days ago, but apparently they never went through... Anyway you have really nice imagery here, but the random semicolons thrown in places was really distracting. I'd suggest replacing most of them with commas because it breaks up the flow of the poem with a full stop instead of a puase. 
BlackbeltJames replied...
Jul. 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Yeah, I have been having similar problems on the forums, dont worry about it :)
I try to stay a grammatically correct as I can when writing poetry and it does depend, most people use them as commas when reading outloud and see them as no more distracting, but I will take the feedback on board.
Thanks :)
Krasota This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm
I really appreciate this poem for two main reasons: 1) The epic vocabulary and 2) You're not afraid to write a longer poem to get your meaning across. The last line really hit home. Great job! :D
BlackbeltJames replied...
Jul. 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm pleased about that, I Love it when a twist works and especially when its an emotional one. Thanks :D
LexusMarie said...
Jul. 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Hey James! I feel like I haven't read your work in awhile! It's nice to read something new from you! I hope you're doing well. So, first thing's first, I think the title is really good and goes great with the poem.. sometimes writers choose titles that just don't work with that particular poem. I didn't read the overall poem twice, but I did read the first stanza twice, I wanted to make sure that I really 'got' each line because each one was filled with so mu... (more »)
BlackbeltJames replied...
Jul. 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm
Yeah, I haven't uploaded as much recently and the end of school has been pretty hectic so I haven't had much time.
I'm glad the title worked I was debating between "The Departing Oak" and "The Departing Leaf", but i found that oak sounded better, although lead related better.
Yes, I defintiley tried harder with this one to bring out more of a theme and to put lots of information in to give it lots of meaning, I'm glad it worked.
I'm pleas... (more »)
BlackbeltJames said...
Jul. 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm
Please comment and rate, all feedback is appreciated :D
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