Poem with an explanation: the bird and the berry tree

The flock of birds,
did land in the tree,
and all were chirping,
and dancing about.

The berries were red,
and bright and shined,
and all the birds,
did eat past full.

They stumbled about,
and fell from the tree,
and flew in wide circles,
and into the limbs.

As the morning did dawn,
the birds did sleep,
and some did stagger,
from all the berries.

And they did wait,
for night to fall,
and the berries to shine,
in the light of the moon.

And there was a bird,
who ate the bright berries,
and danced on the tree,
and waited for the moon.

It danced as it ate,
and flew about,
and chirped a loud song,
and was friend to all.

But there was a day,
as the sun did shine,
that the tree seemed dull,
in its bright light.

And the thought did grow,
with the passing nights,
and more and more,
the tree grew dark.

The bird did think,
of all there was,
that was so far,
from the berry tree.

And then for nights,
it came to the tree,
but did not dance,
and did not eat.

The other birds,
singing aloud,
looked at their friend,
and questioned its change.

The bird then spoke,
of the dull tree,
and all that was bright,
in the day’s sun.

But the other birds,
eating of berries,
did not understand,
what it had said.

Some asked questions,
some did debate,
many did push,
and try to change its ways.

But the bird did resolve,
to eat no berries,
but said it would,
still visit the tree.

The others though,
did shun the bird,
who did not eat,
or dance about.

They did speak ill,
and make loud jokes,
and taunt the bird,
who did not eat.

And in the sun,
with sorrowful eyes,
the bird did leave,
the berry tree.

And when all knew,
they did laugh loud,
and ate more berries,
and danced about.

And the bird flew,
far from the tree,
and over a mountain,
and to a glen.

The air was clear,
a river did flow,
there were seeds of grass,
and a bright sun.

And as it sat,
and felt the warmth,
it heard a sound,
it did not know.

There in the grass,
where it couldn’t see,
were other birds,
who sang each day.

They sang a song,
of sun and warmth,
that the one bird,
did not know.

And it sang back,
and found new friends,
who sang of sun,
in the warm glen.

And days did shine,
upon the bird,
who found a home,
in the tall grass.


This poem is about drinking.  In the poem there is a person who drinks with friends regularly at a bar.  One day, this person decides to stop drinking.  This causes the person’s friends to shun the person.  The person then stops going to the bar and finds new friends.

The idea of the poem is to show a situation where someone changes their behavior for the better, but it has negative consequences from their peers.  Although here, the idea was applied to drinking alcohol, the idea could be applied to many situations.  For example, think of a person who decides to become a vegetarian but who has friends who eat lots of meat.  Those friends might question the person, debate with person, poke at the person and at some point stop being friends with the person because the person changed their ways and became different from them.

The poem is made of stanzas that have four lines each.

In the first stanza, the person and their friends arrive at the bar.  The group is described as The flock of birds.  The bar is described as a tree.  Everyone is happy and having a good time (all were chirping and dancing about).

In the second stanza, the alcohol they drink is described as berries that were red.  The drinks are enticing – they were bright and shined.  All the people at the bar (all the birds) drank excessively (did eat past full).

In the third stanza, the alcohol affects the group.  It affects their coordination and behavior.  They are described as stumbling, falling, flying in wide circles, and flying into limbs.

In the fourth stanza, it is the morning (as the morning did dawn) and the birds are hungover.  They sleep and some stagger from the alcohol (from all the berries).

In the fifth stanza, despite their hangovers, the people are waiting for night (And they did wait, for night to fall) so they can drink again (the berries to shine).

The sixth stanza introduces the main person (And there was a bird).  This person was like their friends and drank (ate the bright berries), partied (danced on the tree), and waited for each night (and waited for the moon).

In the seventh stanza, this person is shown as the life of the party.  They danced and drank (ate).  They partied (flew about) and were full of excitement (and chirped a loud song).  Everyone liked them (and was friend to all).

But one day (But there was a day), shown in the eighth stanza, during the day (as the sun did shine) that for some reason, looking at the bar in the daylight (in its bright light), it didn’t seem like such a fun place to the person (the tree seemed dull).

In the ninth stanza, the person thinks about this (And the thought did grow) as it went to the bar each night (with the passing nights).  As the person started to really see what the bar was like it seemed less and less like a place they wanted to be (the tree grew dark).

In the tenth stanza, the person starts to think (The bird did think) of all they were missing by going to bar (of all there was, that was so far, from the berry tree).

In the eleventh stanza, the person still goes to the bar (And then for nights, it came to tree), but they don’t dance (but did not dance) and they don’t drink (and did not eat).

In the twelfth stanza, the person’s peers (The other birds), who are having a great time at the bar (singing aloud) wonder what might be wrong with their friend (looked at their friend, and questioned its change).

In the thirteenth stanza, the person explains the change that they feel (The bird then spoke).  They talk about how the bar doesn’t seem so good to them (of the dull tree) and of all there was besides the bar (and all that was bright, in the day’s sun).

In the fourteenth stanza, all the person’s drinking peers (But the other birds, eating of berries) didn’t understand what the person was talking about (did not understand, what it had said).

In the fifteenth stanza, some ask questions (Some asked questions), some debated (some did debate) and many tried to change the person (many did push, and try to change its ways).

In the sixteenth stanza, the person does not give to the arguments (But the bird did resolve), and decided that they would no longer drink (to eat no berries).  Despite this though, because of their friends, they say that will still come to the bar (but said it would, still visit the tree).

In the eighteenth stanza, the friends respond negatively to this (The others though, did shun the bird, who did not eat, or dance about).

In the nineteenth stanza, they talk bad about the person (They did speak ill), make jokes about them (and make loud jokes), and taunt the person (and taunt the bird) because they did not drink (who did not eat).

Because of this, one day (And in the sun), as shown in the twentieth stanza, the person is sad (with sorrowful eyes) and they stop coming to the bar (the bird did leave, the berry tree).

In the twenty first stanza, when the other people learned this (And when all knew), they laughed (they did laugh loud), drank more (ate more berries) and continued their party (and danced about).

In the twenty second stanza, the person looks for new place to go (And the bird flew, far from the tree, and over a mountain, and to a glen).  They find a coffee shop to go to, described as a glen.

At the coffee shop, in the twenty third stanza, things are different than the bar (The air was clear, a river did flow).  There were non-alcoholic drinks (there were seeds of grass) and everything seemed brighter in the daylight (and a bright sun).

In the twenty fourth stanza, the person sits outside at the coffee shop (And as it sat, and felt the warmth).  While they are there, they hear people talking (it heard a sound, it did not know).

In the twenty fifth stanza, the person listens to other people talking (There in the grass, where it couldn’t see, were other birds, who sang each day).

In the twenty sixth stanza, the people at the coffee shop are talking about things different than what the person heard at the bar (They sang a song, of sun and warmth, that the one bird, did not know).

In the twenty seventh stanza, the person decides to talk to the people at the coffee shop (And it sang back), and they make new friends (and found new friends).

In the twenty eighth stanza, the person is happy (And days did shine, upon the bird, who found a home, in the tall grass).


P. S. This is the one hundredth “singular” poem with an explanation on this blog. It is the one hundredth poem with an explanation that isn’t in some way part of something else, such as a post series.


P. S. S. If you like poems with explanations, you might check out M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations.


A photograph to inspire poetry: dead leaf on the end of a branch

dead leaf on the end of a branch

Above is a photograph of a dead leaf on the end of a branch.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • Death. The leaf is dead and it could inspire a poet to write about the subject.

  • Hanging on. While the leaf is dead, it is still hanging onto the tree.  There is a sense of persistence.  A poet could apply this idea to poetry.

  • Finality. At some point the leaf will fall from the tree.  It is right before the moment of finality.  A poet could apply the idea of finality to many situations.  There are many last moments of things (not all bad) that a poet could write about.

  • Rebirth. While the leaf is dead and about to fall, buds can also be seen on the branch.  The tree and branch are not dead, only dormant.  At some point, the tree will have a rebirth.  A poet could apply this idea in a poem.

A photograph to inspire poetry: Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

Above is a photograph of a flower that might be called Rose of Sharon.  It can inspire poetry.  For example, a poet might write about:

  • Some sort of occasion with yellow flowers.

  • The change of colors from the outside to the in: Yellow, Red, Yellow, Brown.

  • Something to do with the possible name of the plant.

  • A comparison between the yellow flower and the sun.


Here is an example poem inspire by the photograph:

Shadows fall,
on the yellow hills,
as fires burn,
within the valley,
and the last tree stands,

A photograph to inspire poetry: Up through a tree

Up through a tree

This photograph was taken looking up through a tree.  It is a different perspective than a photograph that looks horizontally or down.  Some poetry inspirations from it, include:

  • Poems about fall. The leaves are changing color on this tree as it is fall.

  • Poems about perspective. As this photograph was taken from a different perspective, this idea could inspire poetry about looking at something from a different perspective.

  • Poems about aiming for a goal. This photograph was taken by looking up.  The idea of looking up could be translated to the idea of aiming for a goal.  This idea could be used in a poem.

  • Poems about people dwelling in an apartment building. This tree is like an apartment, in that many creatures presumably live in it (although none seem apparent in the photograph).  This idea could be translated to people and poems could be written about it.

Artwork to inspire poetry: five minute tree

five minute tree

This is an artwork to inspire poetry.  It called five minute tree.  This tree was made using computer software.  Before the tree was started, a timer was set for five minutes.  The actual artwork itself was only worked on for the duration of the timer (the program was opened before the timer, and the artwork was saved and then used for this post after the timer).

The idea here was to have an arbitrary restriction on art and see the result.  In this case, the restriction was time.  Some things came from this restriction:

  • The tree has no leaves.
  • There are some areas of the tree, like very thick branches, that would have been changed if given the time.
  • The top of the tree is not shown.
  • There is no background around the tree.
  • The tree has few details.
  • There are only two shades of brown in the tree.
  • There are no extras, like birds’ nests, in the tree.

The fact that time was restricted, led to a different artwork than if it wasn’t.  This same idea could be applied to poetry.  A poet could set a time limit (or other restriction) on the creation of a poem and see what the result is.  Like using a form for a poem, having restrictions can change the outcome.

In addition to the restriction used to create this artwork, it can also inspire poetry by itself.  Poets could write about a tree with no leaves, for example.  They could, for example, compare the idea of a tree with no leaves in winter, with the idea of a tree with no leaves in summer.  In the first case, there is a sense of hope, in the second, there might not be.

Post Series: The Christmas Series: A photograph to inspire poetry: Citrus fruits on a tree

Citrus fruits on a tree

This is a photograph of citrus fruits on a tree.  While citrus fruits on a tree might not seem Christmas related, they in fact are.

First, these citrus fruits were on this particular tree on December 19, 2015.  Presumably, they will be on the tree on Christmas.

Second, Christmas trees are evergreens.  Although M. Sakran is not knowledgeable of the botanical definition of an evergreen, under the assumption that an evergreen is a tree that retains its leaves all year, then this citrus tree, at least where M. Sakran lives, appears to be an evergreen.

Third, Christmas is often celebrated in part with ornaments on evergreen trees.  If ornaments are considered to be a bright decoration, and in particular spherical ones, then these fruits on this evergreen tree (again, assuming it is an evergreen tree) are, in fact, natural Christmas ornaments.

Fourth, citrus fruits, although not necessarily these as they have proven to be quite sour, can often be a nice treat on Christmas day.

For the above reasons, this photograph of citrus fruits on a tree is Christmas related.  As such, it can inspire Christmas related poetry.  Some ideas include poems about:

  • Christmas treats (particularly citrus fruits)
  • Ornaments in nature
  • The natural world and Christmas
  • Things that might not at first glance seem Christmas related, being written about as being Christmas related

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Symmetry: Beneath canopy leaves

Outside beneath canopy leaves,
resting in shade hidden from sun,
little soft eyes watch as squirrels run,
as a small bird quietly weaves,
thinking of what working achieves,
butterflies land softly for fun,
and underneath quietly done,
slowly eyes close under leaf eaves.


(4/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Symmetry