A most intreeguing contest entry by Gerardeen Madridejos Santiago


I am so very, very pleased to have such an original response to our contest, both in form and content. Recall our requirements for this contest: an encounter with a love lost. New to us is poetess Garardeen Madridejos Santiago, whose passion for a fallen tree rivals the passion one feels for a fallen love, or, even, a fallen lover.

Regrets to a Tree

by Gerardeen Madridejos Santiago


Last night

You hurled a hundred hailstones at my windowpain:

Awake! you cried.

And I replied:

Oh, leave me live inside my dreams instead!

I curled into myself.


This morning

With preternatural start,

I found you felled,

Dear love, dear heart!

Your trunk a wound of bloodlet sap,

Your native roots rent, snapped,

Where once you stalwart stood, a gaping hole:

Your still warm vacant burrow called—

I crawled into your earthen caul

And found dark hollow, dear departed soul.

I curled into myself.


And here, I wake aghast

At my own blind selfish selfless past:

At how I failed

To shelter you from wicked storm,

At how I failed

To shield you from fanged Conqueror Worm,

At how I failed

By believing you indestructible:

My pillar power strong—

So wrong!

I curl into myself.


phil curtiss


afavorite painter of the editor-in-chief is Phillip Curtis

27 thoughts on “A most intreeguing contest entry by Gerardeen Madridejos Santiago

  1. Stef says:

    Unique approach indeed! Will anyone else admit that we too have formed loving attachments to nature or parts of nature? My undying love of the ocean may outlast the life of the fallen tree, but for how much longer with the abuses our world suffers for us? Trees and nature itself is never fully appreciated because it is so much older than we are, and therefore, we mistakenly believe that they are immortal, safe from change and death. But it is not so. Even trees require care and love from humans.

    As usual, I’m always amazed at your gift of rhyme (did I ever say so in the meetings?). So keep up the good work!

    See you next time!

  2. Michael Stang says:

    Dead trees are causes for mourning and delightful art, such as your talented, introspective poetry offers as a new contest genre. Admirable!

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    As a lover of trees – you captured my feelings when I have seen trees fallen. Your composition cause visions within the mind evoking grief and loss along with failure. Beautifully presented. Love comes in all forms.

  4. Gwyn Henry says:

    Just this past week three trees were removed in front of our apartment. The air, once filled with leafy green boughs, cool shade, extra oxygen, and bird song, is now just empty space. I often feel like the only one in the world who is pained to grief when trees are killed.Thank you for this poem… it validates my sadness… and more. And that’s a good thing!

  5. KJ Haught says:

    It reminds me of the pain every time one of my animals passes.
    But it not so different – both cases, different species, but just as worthy of life and love.

  6. Jackie says:

    Beautiful words! And I’m so sorry for the loss of your tree. I’m tempted to comment on metaphorical extensions about loss and relationships that suddenly topple when, to all outside observers, both parties were fine. But the longer I think on this piece, the more I want to focus on the tree and give it the dignity of standing for and meaning itself. Given the perils of climate change, drought, and other environmental issues, given our huge reliance on trees, for our health and for our spirits, this poem is deeply poignant.

  7. Lee M Santiago says:

    Fantastic you ! So much spirit ! You reminded me of a famous poem that we used to sing in grade school “Only God can make a tree”

  8. Miryam says:

    In the Jewish custom, trees are likened to people and every year we celebrate Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees. When one wishes to honor a special occasion, we plant a tree (many programs offer this service in Israel). Within the life of a tree are many tales, and without them, man would be lost and desolate.
    This poem is a wonderful tribute. Thank you.

  9. Laura G says:

    I love that a tree is your first love. Probably was mine as well! You have an ear for poetry. The lines flow naturally, and the images are memorable. The emotional connection resonates. Bravo!

  10. Marc Ilgen says:

    Nice one Ger! We had one of our Italian Cyprus trees fall over into our backyard a couple weeks ago, so I know how you feel!

  11. Amanda Byzak says:

    I love the rhythm. And I never quite felt we were really talking about a tree. Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Parisianne Modert says:

    With poetry being my dearest love in writing style, I offer my breathless praise to your connection to nature, your natural rhythm of meter, visceral descriptions from deep within both Earth and self and the flash point of “I curl into myself.”

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