Sunday, March 14, 2010


an Etheree Poem

March sunshine
Afternoon breeze
Something about trees
How they listened, calmly
To our grudging bitterness
Listened, absorbed, and drank it down
Grounded it root-deep in the earth so
We could hear the leaves sing, the hawks, the geese.

Consisting of ten lines, the Etheree poem starts with a one syllable line, then adds one syllable per line, until the last line of ten syllables for an overall syllable count of 55. In other words the syllabic structure is as follows: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. It’s an uncomplicated, unpretentious form of poetry that has the quality of slowly opening, like a flower.

For a fuller discussion of Etheree poetry, visit Shaping Words.


Bagman and Butler said...

I admire your disciplined practice of poetry -- the way you move through forms with such vitality. Like Tai Chi. The way you link subject with shape, the way the poem breathes with life despite (and because of) the form. In other words, I like this alot.

Sarah Lulu said...

I love it and I have never done one ...I will though! Thank you..ohhh and I'm almost finished reading The Wishing Year! Thank you for that too. xx

Alden Smith said...

Perhaps this form of poetry that opens as you read it should be called the 'Lotus Form' - I love the way it reads.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Such a gentle unfolding. Your delight in poetry made me think of a quote I read the other day - and I had to look it up for you:

"How does the ordinary person come to the transcendent? Study poetry. Joseph Campbell

Dan Gurney said...

Mark, thank you. That's quite a compliment, coming from you who's been known to write some powerful poetry yourself.

Dan Gurney said...

Sarah Lulu, I hope you will write one. They're fun to compose.

Dan Gurney said...

Hey Pal, yes, Lotus form. I like that. The form is named after an Arkansas lady who came up with it. Lotus might give it too much of a Buddhist scent.

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, I had not run across that quotation from Campbell before. Well said. There is something transcendent in poetry. That might explain why poetry appears in so many human cultures. I'll bet whales talk only poetry.

Reya Mellicker said...

It is a beautiful form. It even looks good on the page.

Ungrudging, they went a trudging. That's what I thought when I saw the photo.

steven said...

dan - this opened my eyes! i know that i enter woodlands and walk by rivers and enter with noise and leave with silence but i had not given thought to the actual process of those energies being returned to the ground and being cared for and returned to goodness. thankyou. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Reya. Ah, a rhyme that escaped my notice! Thank you! Yes, I like the form, too! This was my first go at an Etheree poem, and I'll try more.

Dan Gurney said...

hi steven. Wonderful I'm so glad.

When we go outdoors for a walk, most of us are conscious of the way exercise can stimulate endorphins and all that. We know we feel better afterwords. But if that was all there was to it, then a run on a treadmill ought have the same benefit as a run through a forest, and most of us know that ain't so.

I believe there's a lot more sentience in plants than most people in our culture are likely to suppose. And I think plants, trees especially, do care for and heal us psychically. I sense their wisdom and their compassion for me. When I'm willing/able to notice their patience and compassion, I feel healed.

Rebecca Johnson said...

I feel so at peace as I read your words and gaze upon the photo, I can almost feel the trees drinking in all that we offer. Transforming it into light and air. Lifting away the toxins of my mind and my body. I am surrounded by trees where I sit right this moment. I will spend a moment absorbing their patient strength.

Thanks Dan.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Rebecca--

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

Take care up there in Alaska.


Jim714 said...

Dan, this is beautiful! Is this your first Etheree? If so, I think you and the Etheree are a natural match. Really, I want to see more Etheree from you.



Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Jim. Your compliment means a lot to me. Yes, it is my first Etheree.