Silent Sentinels of Truth

The sweltering day is winding down
and the shadows are lengthening.
As the summer nears its solstice,
the activity in the trees
(even by the insects) has
succumbed to a lazy, dampened
sluggishness of seeking shade
from the intensity that still pierces
through the canopy of the grove.

Dappled now, the waning sunlight
glimmers like miniature beacons
amongst the undergrowth as a
barely-there-breeze
passes through the leaves.

Their stillness belies their discipline
as Watchmen in this quiet glade.
This grouping of oaks has been
steadfast sentries for hundreds
of years. Some have been lost to
old age and storms but most have
weathered What Has Come with
grace and fortitude.

They are the Silent Sentinels of Truth.
They yield when necessary without
betrayal. They hold steady without
defiance. Their boldness is tempered
by their enduring humility.
They abide without beliefs or religion
but serve and embrace all who
seek their refuge, looking to each
with equanimity.

These magnificent nobilities are
regal treasures to be revered.
They breathe and take sustenance,
grow and expand in awareness.
They begin soft and supple
riding the waves of squalls,
pliant to the extreme of
temperatures that threaten
their tender stems
and roots, but somehow thrive
and become dignified beings
of uprightness, integrity
and reliability.

Vero Oaks at Sunset; Artwork by Johnson Hagood

(The origin and history of the word “Vero” is from the Latin word vērus (“true”). As a noun it means “Truth” and as an adverb (Latin) it means “Truly, really in truth.” This appears to be universally “true,” EXCEPT IN FINNISH AND RAPA NUI.)

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33 Comments

  1. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES

     /  May 19, 2019

    And they hold the earth together and bring us oxygen to breathe! Today I felt sluggish seeking shade.

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  2. What a wonderful painting – the trees are indeed sentinels of peace. Your poem is wonderful. I love the lines about how they hold steady and embrace all. A wonderful poem, and it is so lovely to see you at Poets United, Gayle. Yay! So happy you stopped by.

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    • Hi Sherry, so nice to share something with Poets United again! I love writing about trees. They really seem to pull something bigger than myself out of me…which I love. Thank you for your kind comment. xoxo

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  3. Such a beautifully rendered poem, Gayle. I absolutely love trees and Yes, they are certainly sentinels in this vast landscape of the earth we live one. So nice to see you posting something again. You are a gifted writer, my friend, and I do hope you have settled in to your new place.

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    • Hi Renee! I was just thinking about you this week and how we need to chat. I believe I was ill last time you contacted me. And I hope that you’re settled in your new place too. We’ll have to find that out from each other soon! Thank you for your generous compliment for me, I so appreciate it. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. without beliefs or religion
    but serve and embrace all who
    seek their refuge, looking to each
    with equanimity…. if we could just learn this one thing from them!

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  5. As you probably remember, Gayle, I adore trees and this poem really speaks to me. I have a garden full of silent sentinels of truth. I love the lines:
    ‘the activity in the trees
    (even by the insects) has
    succumbed to a lazy, dampened
    sluggishness of seeking shade’
    and
    ‘They begin soft and supple
    riding the waves of squalls,
    pliant to the extreme of
    temperatures that threaten
    their tender stems
    and roots, but somehow thrive
    and become dignified beings.’

    Like

    Reply
    • Kim, you’re so fortunate to have a garden full of silent sentinels. I love trees too and have written about them several times. They seem to pull inspiration out of me to write about their wonderful ‘character.’ So nice to see you here!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. I love that, to me, this poem reads like guided meditation and I absolutely love it. After every stanza, I hear that silent voice telling all who want to listen Remember. Remember how much this matters. Remember that truth and trees die when we strangle what feeds them.

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    Reply
  7. Kestril Trueseeker

     /  May 20, 2019

    There are old trees on the edge of the space where the neighborhood kids play. I always think of them as the old guardians of that space too.

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    Reply
  8. I love trees too… and though we are not yet in that moment of summer heat, I do remember those moments when nature tiptoes in summer laziness…

    Like

    Reply
    • Our heat is rising by the day and I’ll be taking haven from it inside! The heat does bring about laziness…a definite slowing down occurs.

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      Reply
  9. Really beautiful tribute to the magic of trees.

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    Reply
  10. there is so much we can learn from trees….maybe we can harness some of their dignity….bkm

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    Reply
  11. The sluggishness of summer cooled by the trees I love–so much to love in this piece–it makes me long for the dog days od August

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    Reply
  12. Yes, we can and should learn so much from the trees. I really like how you see them.

    Elizabeth

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    Reply
  13. the poem has painted a picture of how sturdy and strong these oaks are, despite the heat and rains and storms.
    this reminds me of a poem i have written about rain trees as sentinels, how they shelter me from the tropical sun as i walk beneath them. 🙂

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    Reply
    • Yes, and I admire them for that strength and fortitude. It seems we have thought similarly about these wonderful beings. Thank you for your visit and comments for me.

      Like

      Reply
  14. Wonderful tree poem, Gayle. (One of my favorite topics 🙂.) Good to see you here – seems like it’s been awhile!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Thanks very much, Betty. One of my favorite topics too and yes, it’s been awhile! It seems to be an arduous process these days to come up with anything worth sharing. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  15. “Silent Sentinels of Truth.” Beautiful poetry Gayle Trees see so much The Standing Ones, who watch silently all that history that passes by.. ❤
    Much love Gayle and good to see your wonderful poetry and it was lovely to see you too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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