Up a Tree


I thought I saw a bear up there,
right at the apex of the tree.
I really couldn’t help but stare.
I thought I saw a bear up there,
and it was clinging tight, with care.
But no, it’s just a burl I see.
I thought I saw a bear up there,
right at the apex of the tree.

Author Notes:

When I was out walking on Pike’s Island, an island in the Mississippi River just below Fort Snelling, I thought I spotted a black bear up in a tree. It surprised me for a moment, until I realized that it was just a burl. Zebulon Pike camped on this island in 1805 during his expedition after the Lousianna Purchase that resulted in the naming of Pike’s Peak in Colorado.
A burl is a growth on a tree. Sources suggest that a burl could be caused by many environmental factors. To be sure, burls and galls may serve as secondary infection avenues for insects and diseases, but as a rule they do not appear to be harmful to most trees and maintain a protective bark around the area where the burl occurs. They look like bumps or warty growths probably caused as a result of some environmental injury. Whatever the irritation, it stimulates a protective growth as a defense mechanism. Burls can yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, one prized for its beauty by many and sought after by people such as furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors.

This poem is a Triolet.
A Triolet is a French repeating poem of only eight lines, and often all lines are in iambic tetrameter. It contains only 2 rhymes, with a rhyme scheme of:
The fourth and seventh lines are the same exact line as the first (see capital As). The eighth line is the same exact line as the second (see capital Bs). Because five of the eight lines repeat, this is one of the easiest French formats to create, yet when the repeated lines are chosen well, it creates a lovely poem.

The poem will become one of my Animated Stills collection.
Animated stills are poems where inanimate objects take on human, animal, or spirit forms, traits, or articles. They are derived from Photographs I have taken, that have moved me to write a poem associated with it. They require a close look at the photograph, and some imagination, to spot them.

This photograph was taken by the author himself on May 1, 2016.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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