A Candle Called Tree-Death

My mom says it smells like tree-death outside today.

An oak falls in the neighbor’s backyard,

I open my bedroom window and breathe in its suicide.

If trees had eyes they would be soft brown

like chocolate left sitting by a fire.

I think sometimes trees see too much.


Plastic. My hands are plastic

and my house reeks of lavender incense.

We burn what burns well.

Flesh. Bark.

The oak outside my window has started

melting into the ground, its chocolate eyes

looking out at me as if from my old dog’s skull

and I’m reminded of an animal

that doesn’t know death exists.

I hope my death smells like pine needles.


 Nature is found in candles these days.

I bought one called “Autumn Glow”

and only light it in the summer.

I hope you understand where

I’m coming from when I say

that oak hasn’t left me,

but I’ve never found a candle

called Tree-Death

and wouldn’t burn it

even if I did.


11 thoughts on “A Candle Called Tree-Death

  1. What a lovely poem. Normally I would write the response poem bashed out of my heart by this. Instead, here is the link to my “eulogy for an oak”. True story. Real tree. Real grief. Your poem reminded me I’d written this. I forget so much. Probably more than I’ve written.

    1. Thanks Alice! And awesome, I can’t wait to read this, but I don’t think the link is working. Can you resend it?

      And I know. I feel like I’ve forgotten the world. Each time I write, or read someone else’s writing, it makes one piece of it a little clearer 😉

        1. “you stayed behind
          there alone to stand
          holding the sky up
          with your arms”

          Oh, wow. That line left me breathless.

          Thanks so much for sharing, Alice. I love bouncing our thoughts back and forth to each other.

          1. Thanks for reading it and for your kind words.

            You would have loved that oak, too. It was a fine tree. I enjoy writing ideas back and forth. Your work enriches my heart and my writing.

  2. Just came across this one today – quite an interesting stream of thought – nice images. I would buy a candle called “autumn leaves” as long as it didn’t involve raking. I hope that my death smells like music (guitar, harp, piano, voice) and poetry.

Thoughts? I love those.

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