A Lonely Tree

by Portia Burton

Warm and cozy between the sheets,
I am suddenly woken up
By a startling sound,

Half-asleep I look around
Only to find it is just the wind
Banging on my window,
Making it shudder and almost scream!

Then I look out, oh, what a sight!
As if the elements are in a fight!
A storm is raging in all its fury,
Oh, how it is hissing, roaring and howling!
As if a great monster, chained and shackled,
Is fighting furiously to get free!
Just then I notice that lonely tree,

Robbed of its glory by the cruel winter,
Oh, how it is resisting this onslaught
With its feeble branches, yet refuses to collapse…
Just like that forsaken,old king Lear…
Should I, like Cordelia, shed at least a tear?

©Portia Burton 2012

12 thoughts on “A Lonely Tree by Portia Burton

  1. Namgyal Rigzin

    …Porshyee at her poetic best….
    ..warm and cozy between the sheets….i am suddenly woken up….by the this onslaught of poetry..

    ..the window..the storm..and the tree..
    ..their images still dance within me…

    ..loved your poem Poryshee..loved the imagery..keep it up.. 😉

  2. Neil Chatterton

    Portia….for me, you have a way of conjuring images and events with your words. This poem has everything one needs to pit good against evil, in our own lives and in the lives of other’s too…you are talented and it is an absolute pleasure to read your works. Neil

  3. A beautiful, visual and pensive poem.  I enjoyed the contrast of observing the external struggle with empathic eyes from a safe haven. The visual and sound references worked brilliantly.

    Very well done,

  4. Portia I enjoyed your poem immensely.  The image heightened the content and the “sound and fury” so familiar in Shakespeare’s plays was transformed into a creative work uniquely your own.  The juxtaposition of you lying in your bed, safe and warm, and the elemental forces outside was so real I felt as if I had suddenly stepped into your poem; your use of such powerful words was not awkward or forced.  The metaphor of the storm as a beast worked well as your description of “raging” and a beast “chained and shackled” ; “roaring and howling” made me feel the vulnerability and then, the brilliant ending with your reference to King Lear, in all his impotence and frailty made me realize it is a good thing I subscribed to a blog about Shakespeare’s plays as it has been a long time.  Comparing “old King Lear” to the tree with “feeble branches, refusing to collapse” was an ingenious poetic twist; I did not expect it and it made perfect sense.  I would like to post this on my wall; I have several Shakespeare fans who would enjoy your poem as much as I have.  A powerful poem by a talented poet.  Thank you, Portia.

    • Portia Burton

      Oh, dear Willow Rose!
      How fortunate I am to start my day with these sweet and encouraging words of you! I am a great fan of Shakespeare myself, having love for him instilled in me by my mom (who has named me after one of his famous heroines) which was enhanced by my Alma Mater-Cambridge, where I had enacted a scene of Cordelia during our May Celebrations (and I was not booed!).Well, as I occasionally visit Old People’s Home I have come to understand their plight and my own helplessness for not being able to do much for them. This poem is a sort of tribute to those friends of mine.
      Thank you very much.
      -Portia Burton

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