Acer Saccharum

Acer Saccharum

With naught but oak and cedar here
I long for you, my maple dear
A welcome sight at edge of glade
with lofty height providing shade
As gentle hues absorbing light
meet autumn colors oh so bright
But greatest of your many treats
is amber sap that runs so sweet

This poem is my response to Poetics – Exploring the genre of Panegyric Poetry (Come dip your toes in), the prompt form Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a panegyric poem, or poem of effusive praise.

Image source:

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters

I do not tire of the bluffs,
with their grand faces.
I pass from one to the next,
straining to see into the depths
between them shrouded
in a canopy that was bare branches
just weeks before. I came here
knowing the differences
would show. The same is true
for the similarities. Would
the summers be longer?
The winters colder? It’s not
the weather so much
as the familiarity. I’m getting
there, but I still miss the blue water
and the maples. I miss the maples.

Today is Day 12 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month.
This may be off-prompt, but I’m sharing it at

Image:  of course, any time I see a maple while hiking in Missouri…

Mountain Travel (visiting Tu Mu)

Mountain Travel (visiting Tu Mu)

A steep stone path climbs the distant cold mountain
with homes high in the white clouds.
I stop the carriage to admire the maples in the evening.
No spring flower can compare to their frosted red leaves.

Literal translations of classic Chinese poetry can be found at This is my interpretation of a poem by Tu Mu. The literal translation, as provided at, is as follows:

Mountain Travel

Far on cold mountain stone path slant
White cloud live place be households
Stop carriage because love maple forest evening
Frost leaf red than second month flower

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Maple in Autumn by Tosa Mitsuoki

More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

Missing Maple

Missing Maple

I remember a time
when I took for granted
the delight of
all-you-can-eat pancakes
after a country drive
to a maple shack
in late winter
and thinking back
to previous autumns
with the vibrant colors
of those same maples
singing to scattered clouds
in an azure sky.

I remember, as well,
riding my bike
on the Riverwalk
along the Niagara
beneath a canopy of green,
the maples whispering to me
as their leaves rustled
in the gentle breeze
coming off the river,
a poem forming in my mind
lamenting the scarcity of oaks
so outnumbered by maples.

And now I walk beneath
the dozen oaks that number
among the many trees
of my new home,
their leaves falling
even in spring,
or drive along
the hills and bluffs of Missouri
covered with sycamore, hickory
and, yes of course, oak
and wonder,
“Where are the maples?”