The beauty of that place was such
that I just hadn't mattered much.
Except for me, the trees were bright
with vibrant leaves. Oh, what a sight!
The crowds would mingle and would rest
among the brightest and the best
where thoughts and dreams together meld
in beauty so unparalleled.
Those autumn trees would grin and shout,
"Hey, look at us. Come check us out.
We've colored leaves for you to see."
And so it was for ev'ry tree -
except for me with branches bare.
I didn't brag. I didn't dare -
for people laughed - and newlyweds
just rolled their eyes and shook their heads.
A boy yanked off my one last leaf,
then ran away - that little thief!
So there I stood, ignored, alone.
I was a poet tree, unknown.
Exposing all my worthless whims,
the breezes weaved around my limbs.
The days were long and getting cold.
I knew that I was growing old.
A gentleman came strolling by
who paused a bit. I don't know why.
He was a man, quite elderly
who found an old leaf under me.
He picked it up and for a while,
I thought I saw a little smile.
He contemplated for a time
and then reread my dead leaf rhyme.
I'm not a poet tree, they say
so yes, my poems blow away.
But high in humble love they sail -
across the plains and over vale,
over seas and over shores,
before they rest near Heaven's doors.
They're found by men of humble heart
whose souls are touched and set apart.
Let colored leaves not camouflage
those covered trees that sabotage
the perfect rhymes of poet's love
which blow as snow from God above.
God's love is oftentimes disguised
from people who are mesmerized
by pretty leaves that promise bliss
and worlds of joy and happiness.
But seasons come and seasons go
as brooks and streams and rivers flow.
They never stop. They never end.
If only man could comprehend.
For sailing from the empty trees
are tears of love inside the leaves.
So leaves as these are worth the rhyme
and fly along on winds of time.
This poem won first place for the November 2015 poetry contest