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Hetty White

Honorable Mention 2007 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $50

About this Christian Poet:
I recently graduated from Georgia College & State University in
Milledgeville, GA. I am now living in downtown Atlanta pursuing a
career in film, and hoping one day I'll get paid to write something
(thank you, Utmost, for prodding me on!).

When I wrote this poem, I was in school running from deadline to
deadline without time for much outside the small bubble of
productiveness. I realized that many aspects of my high-speed life were
not attractive to myself or to others—nor what Christ intended when
He talked about giving us a full life. I realized I had cut myself off
from the slow and pleasant things in life; like climbing trees,
writing a poem and sleeping occasionally. I think I'm still learning
this lesson, but by the grace of Jesus, I've been singing more.

Tree Jazz

I used to sing songs to my tree.
I would make them up as I went along
like jazz players do, like Miles Davis did.
Swing my body around the Dogwood
trunk and belt: bare-footed day
climb to the top: the clouds are just my arm away
jump to a limb swing
                               monstrously
                                                   down: let me feel the rushing wind!

These aren't the real words to my songs.
I can't remember them.
And now that I have gotten so good at planning,
scheduling and memorizing beats and measures—the tree jazz
has faded into classical acuteness and individual picks of
high-strung strings creating predestined melodies
fervently practiced to prevent failure at all costs.
Even at the cost of not being able to
sing anymore.

Copyright ©2007 by Hetty White