Quilting with cottonwords

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Black cottonwood
Populus trichocarpa
deciduous species with broad
wavy, waxy leaves weaving
a glossy green canopy quilt through
dendritic stitches of shading cellulose.
Puffy white fibers pop and float
in clumps of stuffing shipped
by way of the wind and sun post.
Numerous grey needlepoint lenticels
focus gas exchange across
skyrocketing cambium cells,
compressed under bark whose
fissures thicken as rings
toll growth in fourscore spells.
Highly hormonal roots sprout
readily when wet, regenerating even
abscised shoots after busy beaver teeth
whittle its flesh.
Wind wafts the sweet smell of
its photosynthetic success near
stream-side riparian, refreshing your breath.
This is the pinnacle of poplars, a short-lived
model organism whose full genome
the first tree sequenced seven years ago.
Its organic aesthetics practically and medicinally
employed by Northwestern Native American tribes
to craft canoes, fish traps, baskets, abodes,
glue boo-boos, waterproof buckskin and ingested raw as nature’s patented aspirin, downsizing swells and upturning sore thumbs.

For more information, please follow the link to read about these amazing trees:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_trichocarpa

About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
This entry was posted in Nature poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Quilting with cottonwords

  1. love it all – “dendritic stitches” and last 2 lines my favorites

    • Thank you, Paul! I had so much fun stitching words from past experience to create this quilted poetic quip. Over the last four years, I planted thousands of black cottonwood bareroot and cutting stock along streams as part of riparian restoration projects to shade and cool the water for aquatic wildlife and stabilize banks. We also have some cottonwoods right by the house and their sweet scent brought back a flood of memories. Nothing beats seeing a tree grow from 4 to 80 feet in 5 years. Fastest growing tree I know next to willow and Sitka spruce. Hope you are having a good day 🙂
      Cheers,
      Tyler

  2. beverlydyer says:

    love this print!!

    • Thank you, Beverly! However, I cannot take credit for creating it. I found it at the web address at the bottom of my poem. I agree. This print is an breath-taking as the cottonwood itself, animating life through gestural gouges in cellulose 🙂
      Cheers,
      Tyler

  3. Gallivanta says:

    An amazing tree. I think it might make me sneeze though.

  4. Reblogged this on The ancient eavesdropper and commented:

    I’ve added this photograph of towering 50 foot tall black cottonwoods I took last year at a 10 year old riparian restoration site….it literally has its thumb on the pulse of this crafty poem…

  5. words4jp says:

    I enjoy cottonwoods – though I am allergic, i always enjoy them.

    btw – i was looking at your post called ‘Experiment” this morning – sitting in traffic. It was on my i-phone reader, but not my pooter reader. i tried to comment, but the site was not allowing me to – i wanted to say that i very much enjoy your posts. yes, the photos catch my attention – they are typically the first thing i see, but i always read what you have to say. your poetry – words – photos – bring something to my life that i otherwise would be lacking. sometimes i comment and sometimes i do not. this is a reflection more of me than of your work – i do not always have the time or do i feel that i have the correct words to express what i think. BUT i want you to be assured that every ‘like’ icon i click is real. xx

    • Thank you, Kim! Black cottonwoods, along with quaking aspen, are my favorite deciduous trees. There are cottonless hybrid poplars that are quite popular in landscaping, so maybe your allergies wouldn’t act up.

      Any comment from you or anyone else is much appreciated. I don’t expect everyone that reads my work to like or comment on every single post. I am secure in my own abilities and will continue to post what I want regardless of what the world says. Yesterday, I started thinking about the cliche phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” and was debating whether or not I should keep my poetry separate from photography. I wonder if I am trying to put words or feelings in people’s mouths before they have a chance to create their own. Conversely, they probably already have preconceived feelings right after viewing the photo and my words act only as background filler from the peanut gallery. Humans are mercurial just like nature, so maybe photographs should be left as is, shrouded in the meaning or mystery of another’s perception.

      There is my babbling brook for today. As always, I appreciate your support and commendable commentary on my posts 🙂
      Cheers,
      Tyler

    • Thank you, Kim! Black cottonwoods, along with quaking aspen, are my favorite deciduous trees. There are cottonless hybrid poplars that are quite popular in landscaping, so maybe your allergies wouldn’t act up.

      Any comment from you or anyone else is much appreciated. I don’t expect everyone that reads my work to like or comment on every single post. I am secure in my own abilities and will continue to post what I want regardless of what the world says. Yesterday, I started thinking about the cliche phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” and was debating whether or not I should keep my poetry separate from photography. I wonder if I am trying to put words or feelings in people’s mouths before they have a chance to create their own. Conversely, they probably already have preconceived feelings right after viewing the photo and my words act only as background filler from the peanut gallery. Humans are mercurial just like nature, so maybe photographs should be left as is, shrouded in the meaning or mystery of another’s perception.

      There is my babbling brook for today. As always, I appreciate your support and commendable commentary on my posts 🙂
      Cheers,
      Tyler

  6. Pingback: Quilting with cottonwords | The ancient eavesdropper

  7. Mocha says:

    I’ve always enjoyed your poems…you are an awesome poet…

    • Thank you, Mocha! Your kind words and support are always appreciated, my friend. Hope you are having a wonderful week thus far! Tomorrow is Friday and then the weekend!
      Cheers,
      Tyler 🙂

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