A Year in the Life of a Tree (Haibun)

by Hellon   Aug 9, 2015

Bare branches with outstretched limbs reach for the sun as it peeks from behind the clouds, looking for warmth as the wind strips the last leaves she shivers in her nakedness. A patchwork quilt of crimson and orange scattered below

autumn leaves surround,
as a gentle breeze whispers
goodbye to summer.

The spider forms its web on empty arms, spinning a lace-like shawl over the bent, hunched boughs. Colliding clouds bring rain,

small crystalline tears
droplets clinging to the web,
prism of colours.

Cold, silent snow falls down as branches droop, heavy with the weight. The birds have gone now. Standing alone against a blackened winter sky,snow sliding slowly from bough to bough she stands, a forlorn figure

gently tumbling down
silvery droplets trickle
from the weeping tree.

Winter lingers long as snow falls continue
the tree, like a lovely bride awaits her groom, clinging icicles form a frozen crown.

heavy snow falling
dressing the naked tree in
a glittering gown.

The sun's caressing rays slowly melt the snow and, as tiny buds appear outstretched arms embrace them, as a mother would her child

spring is in the air
buds are sprouting everywhere
growing day by day.

Alas, this perfect vision will soon be gone. As warm wind blows, unable to stay, tiny petals rain down on the grass beneath, weaving a soft carpet of dusky pink.

cherry blossom tree
oh, so delicate and rare
petals like paper.

Now a canopy of copper leaves where the blossom used to be. Birds return to nest high upon the tree. Sweet songs sung in the early morning light. Soaring wings point towards the sky.

Building a nest there
preparation has begun
singing as they work.

Ever changing leaves turn the colour of the sun. Hungry chicks cry from the nest, wings flapping. Soon they will fly. Today the first leaf fell...floating silently to the ground

Bright warm sunshine
only to open the door
to autumn's red leaves.

@Hellon 26th September 2006


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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by mossgirl19

    Added to faves right away. Mind-blowing, breath-taking, absolutely beautiful in every sense of the word!

  • 4 years ago

    by Everlasting

    Hi Hellon, I wanted to write you a better comment but I'm slow at doing so...

    This was a poem filled with great imagery. I think your style is inclined towards show rather than tell because your poems usually show.

    On this sentence:

    The sun's caressing rays slowly melt the snow and, as tiny buds appear outstretched arms embrace them. as a mother would her child

    ^^ Is the period after "them" meant to be there?

    And also, are the periods at the end of the haiku important? I mean, I've been told that a haiku doesn't have periods. I was just wondering about that.

    • 4 years ago

      by Hellon

      Thank you all for your lovely comments. Luce, good catch on the period which should have been a comma. With regards to your question about a period at the end of a haiku well, I'm not really sure. I just try to avoid punctuation if I can when writing short forms. I think the haibun could be different I guess, I was trying to take the reader through each stage of this tree, which is in my garden, and I actually did observe it for a year. I was trying to portray camera shots with words I guess....

  • 4 years ago

    by Ben Pickard

    To be honest, Hellon, how this wasn't in the top 3 this week is completely beyond me. This was a stunning piece of poetry that fully deserved to win.

  • 4 years ago

    by - Mr. Darcy

    Hello Hellon,

    A wonderfully previously penned Haibun. I do not recall reading this before, but that matters not as I have enjoyed it now. I enjoyed the alliteration through out and the way you weave words so they create not only imagery, but fragrance and bitter sweet emotion.

    I could try to dissect each word and sentence and still not fully capture the overall message. I guess the message gained will be different depending on personal opinions and how a reader feels that day? I felt after reading this that nature is mother to all, but not without fragility. She should be respected and supported by those that appreciate her for all she endows on this world.

    Take care,


  • 4 years ago

    by Ben Pickard

    What a beautifully written piece and invitingly laid out, too. Excellent

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