Tree Parable

Tree Parable

Some say the created world appeals to the male psyche.  That they love the ‘great outdoors’ of woods and forests, rivers and glades.  Whatever of that. I like them.  The world of creation is life-giving.  We have often looked to places of nature to notice and understand how life and death, destruction and regrowth can be noticed.  This can be a source of comfort and vitality for us as we experience the cycles of life.  The following  free verse celebrates such a viewpoint.  As it was part of my experience of a prayer retreat, I have given it a religious perspective. Others may see further meanings.


Tree Parable



And twisted

By the wind

In the weather.

You lean.

Your branches

Have taken

Breaks and snaps

Bearing in you

Dead wood.


You are also strong.

Branches bear

A bounty

Of fresh leaves

Where creatures

Can find


And shade.

Your trunk

Is tall timber

And sprouts

From roots

In the grass

Of the meadowy bank.


Are like us.

We too

Bear buffeting

From the storms of life.

We too

Have broken in places.

We have

Permanent scars,

Like dead wood,

In our body

And our soul.

And yet

God’s grace is planted

Deep within us.

We are planted in

And built on

The love of God.

So that

God’s fullness

May flow

Into the foliage

Of the countenance

We show

To our world.

Simon C.J. Falk 8 September 2014


A Retreatant’s Prayer



A Retreatant’s Prayer

Love of literature and poetry has long been a hobby of mine. It has been there since my youngest years.  Also there since my infancy has been the impact of the Christian Faith, as handed on in the lives of people who have been influential to me (for better, or for worse!)  As a public minister in the Christian Church, I am expected to undertake a week of what we call an annual retreat.  During this time it is an opportunity: to revisit why I am still here; to deepen my faith and humanity; to see how goodness can be present in me, people and events around us.  This poem gathers those themes together and attempts to put words on them.  

A Retreatant’s Prayer

We came six days ago,
A time to be set apart;
To listen to The Lord in prayer,
That God may touch our heart.

And as we travelled along each day
You whispered in the breeze;
Your voice was of songs of birds,
It fluttered in the trees.

We found you in each other,
A team of giving free;
As people tended dishes and cleared tables,
We heard, “You did it unto me.”

You walked with us on the gravel
As we fumbled rosaries on the road;
You brought us consolation,
When the burden became a load.

We found you in the vineyards,
In the rocks and blossoms of spring;
Our hearts burned within us,
As we were inside inspired to sing.

To sing of the Spirit
Bursting from within;
It cast out all our darkness,
With a lamp of fire therein.

We saw you in the faces
Of each other’s watchful care;
You planted love in the hearts of each,
So we felt each other’s prayer.

We saw it in others generous shuffle
Over to another’s plate;
As they gently filled someone’s wineglass,
Or held open a gate.

We found you in this week, Lord,
Will it ever be the same?
With you, ourselves and each other
We did it in your name.

Simon C.J. Falk, Sevenhill CIS, 13 September 2014


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