Tree Without Birds

This entry is part 12 of 29 in the series Conversari


The tree without birds
is like a book without vowels
a mind without focus
a heart without tides.
Its limbs remain desolate
in the thick of summer.
It puts out leaves
but forgets to bloom
& its transactions with fungi
are strictly economic,
never lead to any
tempting truffle.
The wind plays it
like a mechanical instrument.
In bluest January
it doesn’t even remember
how to ache.

See Rachel’s response: “Offering.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Oh but birds are singing here, disturbingly so, as it’s been such a warm winter. What becomes of spring if there is no freeze to thaw?


  2. Makes me think of Wallace Stevens and the searing presence of absent things [I used to like his work a great deal, so I am saying this in admiration]. And yes, we are wondering what happened to winter here too, even the teaser bits of it we used to get.


    1. Thanks, Maria. I have read a little Stevens lately, so possibly that was an influence, but I’ve always loved trying to evoke presence through absense. (See, for example, “Nude.”)


  3. Actually Larry Ayers here, posting from Bev’s Ipad.

    I like the concept, and the reference to “transactions with fungi” — there should be more poems which refer to fungal matters! A tempting truffle… I’d like to be slicing paper-thin shavings from one right now!


    1. Glad you liked that. Yeah, I find I can’t really think about forest trees without remembering that they are part of the “wood-wide web.”


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