Naming the Trees – a poem by Coreen Hampson

Naming the Trees

The mountain opens its mouth to speak.
No one but the wind is listening.
Guide books and maps open,
the tourists talk about
which mountain to climb and
where to eat breakfast. The mountain
closes, refusing to tell them anything.
Talks to the wind instead. No one
is listening other than an owner who
charges twenty-eight dollars
for breakfast.

Trees whisper and wave. The people
call them “beautiful”. They don’t
hear the whisper. Want to name the
nameless trees. They want to find
the nameless mountain on the map.
As if to name is to own in some way.
Nothing reveals its real name, Each one
must find their own true name
and hold it in their hearts .

The wind moves the tree
in a nameless dance, his mouth
on her ear. She hears her own name.
Her arm moves down his body
but he is gone. Her longing swells
beneath seed-laden branches,
drops down into her roots,
into the ground,
and she is free.

Coreen Hampson lives in Grants Pass, OR. She is a gardener and poet. Her first book of poetry, Growing Smaller, has recently been accepted by Flowstone Press.

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