Literary Hook: Poem describes ‘an old tree down the lane’

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

As the good weather approaches, we begin thinking of vacations. Door County is a favorite spot for folks around here. The Clearing in Ellison Bay, Wis., is especially enchanting. It offers classes from March through October in a tranquil retreat setting overlooking Green Bay, Wis. Please Google “The Clearing” for class listings.

This poem, by Wilda Morris, celebrates the architect of The Clearing, Jens Jensen.

Jens Jensen’s Tree: a Cento

The old tree down the lane

the old oak tree

touched by the storms

and fires of many ages

roots deep in native soil

has a message to tell

He has listened

to the tramping feet

of the Indians

to the pioneers

in search of grain

He speaks of the past

his offspring will carry

his memories

into the future

he still sings the song of spring

Wilda Morris

Wilda Morris is president of Poets & Patrons of Chicago and a past president of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Her poetry has been widely published and has won a number of awards. Her blog at provides a monthly contest for other poets. Rockford Writers’ Guild published her book, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet.

From the May 23-29, 2012, issue

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