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I Am Fossil

I Am Fossil

What bits of memory do you leave behind?
Trapped within amber drops of sticky tears
When others glean from what clues they find
Will they think you bitter from wasted years?

This trunk that’s grown from sprig to stalwart tree
Shed generations of leaves and broken limbs
In yearly season cycle’s of natural decree
You reign, full of life ‘til summer dims

The onslaught of winter’s freezing wind
Whistles through your bare and lonely silhouette
Ice coating builds along your fingers until they bend
But you, mighty Sentinel, have not been broken yet

Beneath your sheltering branches, history evolved
You have born witness to lover’s secret tryst
Watched the same fair maid in dejected tears dissolved
Wrapped in your shade, you comfort as cries desist

Are we not made from the same primordial mix?
Don’t we both breathe the air of earth and expire?
Our roots are feet that move and aren’t transfixed
You maybe the more noble side that men admire

Long ago our phloem abruptly ended
By some omnipotent power we could not withstand
Still, the guardian over land we have transcended
Petrified in stone, we will uniquely stand.

© Tonya Greenlee

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


old fossil myself, I really related to this one on many levels. The first, being that I am old enough to have had the experience of playing in the woods, [which many children do not have these days], and have always had an affinity for trees. There is also the fact, that you have used many carefully crafted, descriptive phrases that keep the theme and simile of a personal growth. There are a couple of tweaks that I see might be made.

1] Whistle needs an ess [s]
2]change [man] to men or add an ess to desire
3] I am on the fence about the word [unforgettably], it seems the right word, but misses the syllable count no matter how I try. I know that the word always, is very well used, but think that it keeps the flow a little bit better. [Actually, just had the thought that the word uniquely, might fit well]. Changes the meaning of the sentence, but still makes the point of humans being unforgettable. I like the title, [It kind of drew me in to read this]. Your language use was great, one tweak on the rhythm, loved your theme, and you were consist throughout from beginning to end. Nice work!
Just a few suggestions, feel free to use or discard, and use your own thoughts. Respectfully, ~ Gee

Honest critique and comments shouldn't hurt.
It's why we are here, to get better at our craft.

Actually, as i was reading through, I saw some of those suggestions and used them all! Thank you so much for your input and I am really glad you enjoyed the poem.
Kids raised without trees are really missing out. I lived in the country and we played in the woods all the time. Lots of trees became forts and places of safety. Perhaps that is one of my affinities for them, their protection mode. lol
I liked uniquely in place of unforgettably. I think it does work well and the altered meaning is slight, adding a bit of a spin i also like.
Thanks, once again. Your time and thoughts are very much appreciated.


author comment

I loved reading this. I have a new poem I did this summer (not yet posted) that talks about the trees also as "sentries" and deals with memories.

I really liked the first stanza..maybe because I have a facination with amber, but the whole usual, just flowed for me.


you need to post your poem about trees!! I love trees! :)
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.
it is always welcome. I am so glad you enjoyed this poem.


author comment

Saw title and thought " A poem about me ! "..........sigh lol.Now I have to look up def. of phloem but expect to find it well-used in this lovely poem. I have a few ideas:
l-6 line seems long in syllables. Maybe change generation to years or eons
l-7...........yearly season's cycle...........
l-18 respire seems to work better as to meaning than expire
l-30 tell me to take a hike lol................scribbler

I sooooo appreciate all suggestions. And.. give me your feedback on the reasons I chose those words. Generations does pull the line out a couple of syllables, and I suppose years would work.. but when i read it outloud, i still like the sound of it. (eons would change the meaning and tree as a whole, could be eons..but i am kind of talking specifically of one...there is a blurry line there. lol
'yearly season cycles'...season's do cycle, but the life span of a tree in one year is a cycle/ kind of a duo meaning. The cycle's of a season in the year long growth of the tree. I was looking for expire and couldn't think of the word. But as I thought about it, i have mentioned breathing and that too is a cycle in itself. So..i kind of liked the description comparison of breathing and dying. I do like your ideas...I will have to think on them and maybe change mine to some of yours.

Thank you for reading and the time to input your ideas. It is always always appreciated. I had wanted to put the last paragraph in italics..but couldn't figure out how to do it!

As for telling you to take a hike.... yea..take a hike on over to my next poem i put up!!! lol
Thanks again,

p.s. phloem is the tissue that conducts synthesized food. Primarily made up of a sieve of tubes.

author comment

In retrospect , generation has few synonyms and the words I suggested WOULD change meaning. Maybe drop " of " in line 7 and change broken to dead in line 6 ? This poem is good enough to be worth the effort to put up with my sniping lol..........stan

I am a happy girl, to know you think it worthy of keeping after me to fix it!
I'm working on it. One syllable gone...i'm thinking. My brain is too tired tonight
to do more now. Thanks for your continued encouragement. It is appreciated
more than you know.
It has been very hectic around my house lately...and away from it.
I am way behind on reading and critiquing.

author comment

This is one powerful theme, there will indeed be some
remnants of each of us, for we have been, there's no
question. Loved the title ... and the way the poem ends,
but felt more focus on the, perhaps, melding ... ? or the
finding ... just an idea, really enjoyed the read.


Thank you Richard! I love it when people tell me what they see and feel from something
I've written. It lets me know they have really thought about the words.
I'm please you liked it!

author comment

The primordial soup.

I love all your ingredients, Tanya.

I'll take the last drop. Yum!


so much Anna. I appreciate and value your opinion very much.
Glad you enjoyed the soup! :)
Thank you for reading and the lovely comment.

author comment
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