The Departing Oak | Teen Ink

The Departing Oak

July 15, 2013
By BlackbeltJames GOLD, Reading, Other
BlackbeltJames GOLD, Reading, Other
14 articles 0 photos 193 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isaac Asimov - "Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.”

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.

The author's comments:
This is just something I started writing and it gradually built up to create this; most likely influenced by the topics we study in sociology. I find that it is a little complicated due to the odd timeline of the poem, however, if you read through it twice, it should make sense.
There is a deeper meaning than you initially think.

Similar Articles


This article has 46 comments.

Mckay ELITE said...
on Jul. 30 2013 at 5:40 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2230 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

Somewhat dark at then end. And as you said there is a deep meaning in it. You always choose great words, which I admire you for that. Great imagery. And flow as well. Keep at it. I love the personification here and there. The rhetorical questions. Many beautiful elements in this poem that make it pleasurable to read. 

on Jul. 30 2013 at 10:05 am
SwanSong SILVER, Millville, New Jersey
9 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

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. 

on Jul. 29 2013 at 8:34 pm
Carpe-Caffeam GOLD, No Where, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 444 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” –David Letterman

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

on Jul. 28 2013 at 7:15 pm
BlackbeltJames GOLD, Reading, Other
14 articles 0 photos 193 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isaac Asimov - "Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.”

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 pleased to hear you say that! I was very happy with that last line as I felt it had a real affect to those who understood it, and of course it did affect you. Which is why the train station was so relevant, not just cos of what you mentioned; this is why some people have to read it twice, to understand the relevance of everything. 
I'm definitley pleased that you enjoyed this one, thanks for the praise :D

on Jul. 28 2013 at 2:58 pm
LexusMarie PLATINUM, Las Cruces, New Mexico
27 articles 0 photos 423 comments

Favorite Quote:
The more control you have over yourself, the less control others have over you.

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 much, it was really detailed and descriptive. I loved the first stanza, bravo on the tiny details. You gave off a certain mood in each stanza that I could honestly feel. The fact that you choose the month of October was brilliant, of course you needed to for the metaphorical sense of the leaves dying, but I also mean because October is one of the colder months and winter is a great symbol in writing for death as you said in one line, 'where the rich smell of death looms...' I'm sure you know already how much I enjoy looking for symbols in writing. I also like that you incorporated a train station, that was really good.. it's always seen where a train pushes leaves around in movies and in public life. Getting to the last stanza I felt the mood of the poem change drastically. The first line was brilliant, especially the use of the word 'unearthed' because of course you were using nature in the poem. The last line, absolutely mind-blowing. It was completely sad. I think you did a great job with this poem!

on Jul. 24 2013 at 4:24 pm
BlackbeltJames GOLD, Reading, Other
14 articles 0 photos 193 comments

Favorite Quote:
Isaac Asimov - "Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.”

Please comment and rate, all feedback is appreciated :D