The Trees Were So Much Bigger Then by Terry Chipp.
(The Trees Were So Much Bigger Then)
“See Things for what They Are”
It is really, really dark
A large screen looms with no one to watch but threatening altocumulus clouds
Partly true, it is dark
A lot of things are cut off that we have been used to
Turn the picture around
You’ll get a fuller understanding
They sky is still here,
The trees and the landscapes, countryside and towns; the screens will come back to life
Trees Die Standing Up
Today, small fires dot the map in NSW.
Wind whips through the sweltering
afternoon, 108-degrees. Trees, still green,
wave their limbs in warning. Every living
thing remembers last Summer: gums
ejecting stars like fire crackers, birds
falling from the sky, mob of kangaroos
vaulting through the conflagration, ablaze.
Koalas with burned paws and too-short
legs towing their babies through flames.
Wombats burrowing to safety. A billion
animals lost, hundreds of billions of insects
incinerated; 17-million hectares charred
to ash. Even rainforests smoldered. Our
Lucky Country nearly defeated by infernos
that melted cars and forced Aussies to flee
to beaches, under a sky, Martian red.
We do not forget the dead; people and
towns and notions that we can evade
Climate Change. Each burst of wind carries
a threat. Like the koalas, I sniff air
for smoke, look at the boxes I packed
last Summer when it seemed inevitable
we’d run. I never unpacked them. They
sit, testament to trauma. Meanwhile,
the gums sway; brace to die standing up,
seeds daring smoke to break them.
— Gayle J.Greenlea (“Trees die standing up” from the play,
Los Arboles Mueren de Pie, by Alejandro Casona)
There was terror then in the vastness of things,
the palpable hot breath stickiness of night,
the lost paths among buildings and trees.
Walking in the valley of the shadow of death,
I would murmur childish pleas
to the great eye beyond the clouds—
show me the way home, not skyward,
the passage to darkness and distant singing,
the beating of cold wings,
just home, to where the birds sing,
and the trees are the right size.
The trees were so much bigger then
volumes swept by light
giant in a chartreuse skirt,
arms spread to embrace
:: these trees ::
feels like autumn now, cat is in, windows misted
a challenge to describe these trees as suggested
the gentle good, dawel disgyn, little time
left, nor funds for flying
tiny things become intimate
you may put them in cases, or hang on pins
straight or safety, it becomes political
the choice is yours
you are the curator
maybe things are red with black
The trees were much bigger then
Before storms and developers,
people want a view and a lawn,
not to live like pigs in a forest,
and trees are money, topsoil
as well, scraped off and sold,
turf would mostly die
being scraggly stuff,
by then the project built out,
developer long gone,
people pretending not to stare
in each other’s windows,
a lot full of dead stuff,
a broiler plate
in summer sun.
no envy left
because this space,
as all others, just
what was once
TREES ARE ICEBERGS
When I was young,
they seemed bigger.
Proud standing above the land.
Bark like elephant skin,
they have no obvious bite.
In fact the only teeth they fear
are in the jaw of the saw.
I once met a man
who told me, we
can never be truly sure
that trees exist.
Try running down
the hill, pell-mell.
Full of vim and vigour.
Straight into their
They are there.
What I never knew
was that trees are like
icebergs. So much
more under the ground.
Its where they talk
and feed each other.
Looking after the
weak and the sick.
I love trees and fervently hope,
that they in turn love me.
© Dai Fry 28th November 2020.
Bios and Links
grew up in Thurnscoe and ia now living in Doncaster via Wath Grammar school, Doncaster Art College, Bede College in Durham and 30 years teaching.
He sold his first painting at the Goldthorpe Welfare Hall annual exhibition at the age of 17 and he haven’t stopped painting since.
He escaped the classroom 20 years ago to devote more time to his artwork. Since then he has set up his own studio in Doncaster, exhibited across the north of England as a member of the Leeds Fine Artists group and had his painting demonstrations featured on the SAA’s Painting and drawing TV channel. Further afield he has accepted invitations to work with international artists’ groups in Spain, Macedonia, Montenegro and USA where his paintings are held in public and private collections. In 2018 he had a solo exhibition in Warsaw, Poland and a joint exhibition in Germany.
His pictures cover a wide range of styles and subjects from abstract to photo-realism though he frequently returns to his main loves of landscape and people.
Visitors are welcome at his studio in the old Art College on Church View, Doncaster.
Facebook: Terry Chipp Fine Art Painting
is a Dutch visual artist. He is also one of the two men behind the publishing house Petrichor. Freedom is very important in the visual work of Marcel Herms. In his paintings he can express who he really is in complete freedom. Without the social barriers of everyday life.
There is a strong relationship with music. Like music, Herms’ art is about autonomy, freedom, passion, color and rhythm. You can hear the rhythm of the colors, the rhythm of the brushstrokes, the raging cry of the pencil, the subtle melody of a collage. The figures in his paintings rotate around you in shock, they are heavily abstracted, making it unclear what they are doing. Sometimes they look like people, monsters, children or animals, or something in between. Sometimes they disappear to be replaced immediately or to take on a different guise. The paintings invite the viewer to join this journey. Free-spirited.
He collaborates with many different authors, poets, visual artists and audio artists from around the world and his work is published by many different publishers.
writes novels, short stories and lots of poems. Among her publications is her first chapbook of poetry, thicker than water. She is also a regular contributor to Visual Verse and the Ekphrastic Review. You can find her on twitter @MJDougherty33 and on her blog https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Former cook. Has had poems in Cypress Press, Feral Poetry, IceFloe Press, Petrichor. Can be found on Twitter@Peach Delphine
is a poet living on the south coast of England. Originally from Swansea. Wales was and still is a huge influence on everything. My pen is my brush. Twitter:
Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Fragmented Voices, Algebra Of Owls, Dreams Walking, and Anti-Heroin Chic among others. Her debut collection, ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’, was published by Penniless Press Publications (2015). Follow her @S_sanDarlington
lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her two large, frightening lapdogs. A PhD in French language and literature, she has retired from teaching French to university students, as well as from fierce competition in martial arts and distance running. She has produced the chapbooks Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen, Scapes, and Postcard Poetry 2020. When she isn’t hard at work writing poems in English, she might be found reading them in French to her long-suffering grandchildren, who don’t yet speak French.
-Gayle J. Greenlea
is an award-winning poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel Zero Gravity at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Astronomy Magazine, Headline Poetry and Press and The Australian Health Review.
Like someone who tries out hats or other samples before making a final decision, experimenting with different ideas and techniques is how Lydia spends some of her time. This allows for other portions of time to speak through the lens of fiction, creative nonfiction and art. You can find her work at Cargo Collective , Lydia Wist Creative and on Twitter @Lydiawist.
lives in the wild, wet, south-west of England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. She writes poems to make sense of the world, and would rather weed than wash up.
-sonja benskin mesher
holds a bachelor in English Literature and Creative Writing and is a secondary school teacher of English and Creative Writing. Liam is currently writing his first, professional collection of poetry entitled Borders that explores poetry from all around the world. Liam also Co-Hosts a movie discussion podcast entitled: The Pick and Mix Podcast. Liam writes under the pseudonym ‘Michael The Poet’
Links: WordPress: https://michael-the-poet.com/
Instagram: Michael The Poet
is 54, married and a mother of two, who has been writing and telling stories since childhood. Over the last decade she has utilised writing not just as entertainment, but as a means to improve personal communication skills. That process unexpectedly uncovered increasingly difficult and unpleasant feelings, many forgotten for decades. Diagnosed as a historic trauma survivor in May 2019, Mental health issues had previously hindered the entirety of her adult life: the shift into writing as expression and part of a larger journey into self-awareness began to slowly unwind for her from the past, providing inspiration and focus for a late career change as a multidisciplined artist.
is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest and Venus in pink marble (2018, 2019 and Summer 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic and due for release 30th November 2020. Follow her on Twitter @gaynorkane or read more at www.gaynorkane.com.
is the author of Walk Like Monsters (Paperwall, 2016) and City of Water (Sahitya Akademi, 2010). Her work has appeared in anthologies and journals such as Plume, 580 Split, One and Breakwater Review. She is Contributing Editor, Poetry, at Barren Magazine. She has received fellowships and awards from the Charles Wallace Trust India, the International Reporting Project, TFA India and Muse India. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her website is http://aninditasengupta.com