Weekend Writing #41: In a Tree

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend, we want you to write about a tree.

First, we want you to set a timer for 15 seconds and quickly make a list of every tree name you can think of. After the timer has gone off, pick one of the trees on your list and do some research. Spend about 30-45 minutes finding out everything you can about the tree you chose. Mythology, etymology, habitat, wood uses, etc etc.

Once you have compiled your research, we want you to create a piece from the perspective of that tree. You can pick any setting, within the constrictions of your tree, and go wild! Be as realistic or fantastical as you like. Try to include as many facts from your research as you can.

As always, we would love to hear what you came up with for this one! Tweet at us using #weekendwriting, tag/mention us on Facebook, or submit your piece for our fall issue!

Happy Researching!

National Poetry Month: Day 30 (2 of 2)

A Journey

by Michelle Tapia


Rushing past I can smell the trail of whisky on your breath
I inhale
I exhale
You whisper what sounds like a lullaby of love
What I’m hearing is simply the winds inaudible language
Resonating in my mind, memories stick like melted honey-
Sweet and succulent you are- seducing my soul as it aches for satisfaction.
I gasp
I cry
Your eyes look hungry-
I drape you over my shoulders
Toes tapping the same trail into the dark.
Lie still as the world around us spins like thread through a loom
You plead
I listen
Underneath the covers as you struggle against sleep
Ashamed you will wake from your night terror to reality-
Tomorrow we will do it all again.


My name is Michelle Tapia and I’m from a little town called Las Vegas New Mexico (not the fun Las Vegas, sorry to disappoint). A whole lot of nothing happens here which renders me to try and write poetry all day long. I usually read them to my 9 month old daughter who could really care less about any of it.

National Poetry Month: Day 29

You’ve Stopped Dreaming

by Gareth Culshaw


I saw you last week with a pram
and tie. We nodded then smiled.
Our eyes said the things our mouths
did not. Your trousers ironed

and teeth clean. Remember the tree
swing we made and swigging cans
of coke in the sun? Today you talked
gas bills and Tesco points.

How your MOT charged a hundred
more. I saw you throwing the basketball
into the neighbours hanging basket
kissing the sister of a brother we hated.

You gave milk to your son and picked
up your phone. I watched the cars go by
and saw us doing kick-ups on the pavement.
You pushed your son away from us

and we went our different ways. I chase
the sunlight in my dreams and you
the monthly wage.


Gareth lives in Wales. He had his first collection in 2018 by Futurecycle called The Miner. His second comes out in 2020 called Shadows of Tryfan

National Poetry Month: Day 28

Tell Me

by Jackie McManus


More and more lately, I have been remembering
your voice at 2 a.m., strained, weary. And without
even knowing it, your news had deafened me and

it was in that wounded silence, I want to tell you,
that I tried to call the next relative, to listen
as they cried from somewhere distant, and

unable to find the words, I pulled back the
drapes and watched the night: the train as it
passed through town, the lone car on the highway,

the mourning dove on her night shift
flying bullet straight, where? – tell me, tell me
how to absorb a death.


Jackie McManus is the author of a poetry chapbook, The Earthmover’s Daughter. She is a former educator and avid hiker who lives in Washington state near her children and grandchildren.

National Poetry Month: Day 27

Earth Day Breakfast

by Jack Schoen


I finish breakfast,
push back from the table.
I see before me
the products of the Earth,
from silverware to traces left of OJ,
all reasons to honor the Earth,
to be glad in it,
to thank it for my being!
Jack Schoen is a retired business writer trained in physics and English literature who has just discovered the joys of writing poetry.

National Poetry Month: Day 26

another distance

by Ed Higgins


only after
you slipped away entirely

without any healing words
possible between us

alone again
listening to memory

like soft rain
already halfway to spring

with crocus you planted
rising in my heart

their emerald spears rooted
backward without forgiveness

and love at fault once more.


Ed Higgins’ poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals including recently: Ekphrastic Review, CarpeArte Journal, Under the Basho, Wales Haiku Journal, and Sum Journal, among others. Ed is Professor Emeritus, English Dept. and Writer-in-Residence at George Fox University. He is also Asst. Fiction Editor for Ireland-based Brilliant Flash Fiction. He lives on a small organic farm in Yamhill, OR where he raises a menagerie of animals, including a male whippet, Mr. Toffee, and an Indian Runner duck named Duck.

National Poetry Month: Day 25

The Blue Garden (After Liu Yong)

by George Freek


I stare over empty flowerpots
at my decaying garden.
The roses are dead.
Hollyhocks no longer bloom.
I can’t get out of bed.
The day leads into night.
Stars flicker and fade.
They are distant dreams.
The moon is not what it seems.
Who can understand
what it means? My life
has gone astray.
I’ve lost my sense of place.
I am fifty-eight.
I know nothing.
And it is getting very late.


George Freek’s poetry has recently appeared in ‘The Chiron Review’; ‘Torrid Literature’; and ‘Off Course Review.’

National Poetry Month: Day 24


by Jessi Peterson


The tiger brings her trophy, proud,
cannot understand my reprimand, nor that
I take the tiny bundle from her, walk out
into the bee loud summer clover to weep.
The finest jeweled avian scrap, so newly dead
I take one breath of hope, but then the tiny
neck lolls obscenely against my hand, free of intent,
smearing sweetness from its needle thin beak. One way,
a collar greenly black as the jungle night, the other a sharp,
metallic crimson, brighter than blood. I think then of
a painting by Sargent, Ellen Terry in her green beetle wing dress,
a thousand iridescent wings clasped as shields
against the warp and weft of wool,
soft chain mail for Lady Macbeth
with so much beauty and death in her hands,
and now in mine.


Jessi Peterson works as a children’s librarian. She enjoys kayaking, bluegrass music and foraging. Her work has previously appeared in Wisconsin People and Ideas, Barstow and Grand and The Green Light Literary Journal.

National Poetry Month: Day 23

River Walk

by Terry Tierney


Melting spring reveals its treasures,
purity of snow fading to brown,
swampy scent of renewal
tinged with dog waste.

Rotting carp drags a wake
like the helm of a royal yacht
welcomed by flags of toilet paper.
Napkin blossoms line the shore.

Styrofoam peanuts sprout in green algae
with shiny nuggets of aluminum foil
and sapphire Doublemint wrappers.

Grocery bags unfold and swim
like jellyfish in the breeze.

Arrowhead bottle ran ashore,
stranded behind a fence of dead reeds
and black shards, bobbing in gray water,
reflects my distorted face.


Terry’s collection of poetry, The Poet’s Garage, will be published by Unsolicited Press in May 2020. His poems and stories have recently appeared in The Mantle,Valparaiso Poetry Review, Front Porch Review, Jersey Devil Press, The Lake and other publications. His website is http://terrytierney.com.

National Poetry Month: Day 22

Earth Day

by Jan Carroll


I don’t think I can write
a poem about Earth this morning.
The birds are singing a song
called “Resilience,” the snow, piled so high
after a record-breaking winter,
is melting into cheerful streams.

I don’t think I can read
the article I bookmarked
titled, “Climate Change Is Bad
but This Is Worse.” Instead
I’m holding in my heart
the photo of the Swedish teen, Greta
Thunberg, who, after bravely stating the truth
before world leaders
is smiling into Jane Goodall’s eyes,
and Jane Goodall, after everything
she’s seen, after all the data she’s gathered,
the speeches she’s made, the pleas,
is smiling back at her
like a proud mother.

I don’t think I can add up
my carbon footprint today.
But I’ll walk to worship
over the swollen river, remembering
the trees that were my friends
cut down for development, and later,
home again, I’ll take out my basket
of garden seeds and on the back
of a no-longer-needed paper,
I’ll sketch out some kind of plan.


Jan Carroll’s work has appeared in Borderlands, California Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Avatar Review, and other places. She works in publishing and alternative healthcare and is a dog person who likes museums, nature, thrift shops, artsy films, live music, and anything that makes me laugh out loud.