A photograph to inspire poetry: the top of a tree

the top of a tree

Above is a photograph of the top of a tree.  The tree has lost its leaves except for one green spot.  This photograph can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about things like resilience, holding on, survival, and so forth.

Here is an example poem:

staring at the clock
from the floor where she fell
they would be home
in forty three more minutes

Poem with an explanation: The clock strikes

The clock strikes

the clock strikes:

 eleven twenty eight,

  snowflakes fall,
  robins land,
  fir needles sprout,

 twelve o’ six,

  drifts pile,
  a flock gathers,
  branches fill,

 twelve twenty five,

  a sea of snow,
  the trees are filled,
  branches intertwine,

 twelve thirty one,

  a flurry in the sky,
  robins fly,
  shapes against the stars,

 one o’ one,

  footsteps in the snow,
  robins in a v,
  trees in a line,

 one twelve,

  the snow melts,
  robins fly away,
  needles fall off


This poem is about the progression of time through the holidays.  As the holidays have just ended, this topic seemed appropriate.

The first time is eleven twenty eight.  Here it represents the Friday after Thanksgiving, which this past year occurred on November twenty eighth.  This is the first time when Christmas decorations come out (at least in the poem).  The decorations are represented by the three things that appear in the poem (although these three things will represent other things later in the poem): snowflakes (white), robins (red), and fir needles (green).  The things were chosen to represent colors associated with Christmas.  The colors though, are not specifically mentioned in the poem.  Their appearance symbolizes the appearance of Christmas decorations.  These three things repeat at each of the times in the same order.

Twelve o’ six is the second time.  This time represents December sixth, Saint Nicholas Day.  The three things at this time that arrived at eleven twenty eight are now growing.  This is meant to represent the increase in Christmas decorations that occurs generally in early December, although Saint Nicholas Day was chosen as the specific day for the poem.

The third time is twelve twenty five.  This time represents Christmas Day.  At this time, all the three things in the poem (snow, robins, and fir needles) are in abundance, just like Christmas decorations on this date.

The fourth time is twelve thirty one.  This time represents New Year’s Eve.  At this time, the consistency of snow, robins and fir needles are maintained, but instead of representing Christmas decorations, here they represent fireworks.

One o’ one is the sixth time.  This time represents New Year’s Day.  Here, instead of the snow, robins and trees representing Christmas decorations or fireworks, they represent parades.

The last time is one twelve.  This time represents the date of this post. It is a date after the holidays have ended.  At this time, the three things have gone back to representing Christmas decorations.  What happens at this time symbolizes the decorations being put away.