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'Carry the Light' Excerpt: Climb a Tree

This original poem appears in the "Carry the Light" anthology.

Editor's Note: For the first time in the history of the San Mateo County Fair, a 300-page anthology has been published that includes more than 100 stories, poems and essays from writers who submitted award-winning work for the fair's literary contest. The idea was the brainchild of Bardi Rosman Koodrin, a San Bruno resident who runs the fair's literary contest, and the anthology, titled "Carry the Light," features work from many Peninsula writers.

From p. 178, "Climb a Tree"

Shaded from the sunray hot
In midday breath,
In midday rest,
Eyeing an agile squirrel from my cot
Climb a tree,

A tree I used to climb in my youth
In summertime
In years gone by,
I would from limb to limb, in truth,
Climb a tree.

Forty-five feet in a lofty tree,
A sailing ship,
A fire tower,
Looking toward a future yet to be?
Climb a tree.

A voice below shouts, "Dinner! Dinner!"
So skinny arms,
So skinny legs
Shinny to the ground to later
Climb a tree.

A cherry tree on outstretched limb
Above the ground,
Below the crown,
Precariously hugging, watching him
Climb a tree,

A BIG tree with small, sweet fruit
Within far reach,
Without young fear
To teach, as carefully he tries to prove it,
Climb a tree.

Men climb trees in dwindling forests
For building homes,
For building fires
On cozy hearths while a heart rests.
Climb a tree.

A sycamore, growing wide and strong and
Monkey bar arms,
Jungle gym rings,
A place to be and hang and dangle long and
Climb a tree.

Excerpted from "Carry the Light" with the permission of Sand Hill Review Press, the publisher. The book is available for purchase for $12 on Amazon.com.

Thomas A. Ekkens is an artist, photographer, poet and songwriter. His first book, Collected Poetry of Thomas A. Ekkens—Early Works, was published in 1986 by Backspace Ink, a publishing company started by his wife, Joanne Shwed. Thomas has also authored a new poetry form, Ekkensian verse, a term coined by Pacifica poet laureate Rod Clark. To check out more of Thomas's work, visit www.taegallery.com.

Bardi Rosman Koodrin June 25, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Aside from contributing his inspiring poetry, Tom also won the book cover art contest we ran at the San Mateo County Fair in conjunction with our literary contests. We just loved the silvery elegance of his photo, "Light Flow," and we knew this had to be the cover of our first published Carry the Light anthology. And his lovely wife, Joanne Shwed of backspaceink.com, did the graphics that made the cover art come alive. Be sure to read today's excerpt of her award-winning essay, Jumping Off. Quite a talented couple!

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