The last tree

Painting by van Gogh


At the end, a flowering tree,
Its petals cast on a sea of mists,
The dreams of all the world.
On the edge, a last tree bends,
Showering a whispering tapestry
Of lost loves and hopes,
Drifting into eternity.
When the end comes,
And all the blossom is fallen,
When cold winter strews dead leaves into the gulf,
Who will hear the last song of the wind,
Crying among black branches?


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “The last tree”

      1. Thank you for the encouragement. That’s the effect I was hoping to achieve. If you like musical, I added a song to the poem on today’s poem, Until the morning. It makes me fill up every time I hear it.

  1. Your poem emphasises Van Gogh ‘s painting. I saw it years ago at a special exhibition in Amsterdam. Stood there for ages. The colours locked to my memory. You rekindled that beautiful flashback. Thank you Jane!

    1. I’m glad the poem brought back a happy memory, Andrea. I wrote it in response to a photo prompt—a picture I didn’t much like, it has to be said, too floaty and ethereal for the idea behind the poem it prompted. I chose a different tree. Van Gogh’s tree is full of sunshine and hope. The last tree to hang on at the edge of the gulf.

  2. I discovered the realist paintings of Ilya Repin through this site and to my mind the scrawling of Vincent and the misty murky last attempts of Turner are shadows of art.

    1. I’m no art critic, and wouldn’t like to pronounce one way or the other. I also find Repin’s paintings attractive, full of life and colour, but I can’t deny the greatness of Van Gogh and Turner. What we like is a purely personal choice, of course.

      1. We are all art and music critics and so we should be otherwise we become doormats to accepted opinion. There is false belief taking hold of many that they must be experts to criticize anything . Nonsense! we are free to say how we feel and what we think.

      2. I agree, we are free to say what we like about anything at all. But that’s not the same as saying every opinion is as valid. An educated opinion is worth more than an ignorant one. Before condemning a work of art as rubbish or impossible to understand, I’d like to hear what someone who does understand it has to say in its favour. And what a member of the Ku Klux Klan has to say about anything would not influence me in the slightest.

      3. Once you accept an educated elite you are saying all taste and behavior must be set by this elite. If you accept every vote is valid in democracy then every opinion is valid in art. We do not examine the education of the artist or the musician or their politics and life style.
        I could object to Wagner because he was a racist but I listen to his music not his beliefs.

      4. I think you’re going off on a tangent there. When I talk about an educated opinion, I really do believe that you can’t make any decision until you know something about the question. That’s why I don’t think every opinion is as worth listening to as the next. I wouldn’t accept a child’s opinion about a particular politician based on the photos on election posters, though I’d be perfectly happy to accept her opinion about the school lunch, something she knows about very well.

      5. My apologies Jane by educated you do not mean formal education but someone who has tried to find out about something. I agree and I must confess that I have been guilty of judging with out thinking first or investigating. In my youth I was a hot – headed know all but I hope I have largely changed.

      6. One of the reasons I don’t like discussing complicated things like this—it’s so easy to get the wrong end of the stick 🙂 We all judge, we all have prejudices, we all deep down think we’re right, but recognizing one’s prejudices is a way of thinking them through. I have great difficulty finding anything pleasurable in contemporary experimental music. It just sounds like monotonous irritating noise to me. But there must be something in it or people wouldn’t sit for hours in concert halls listening to it. I’m happy just to say I don’t understand it and ignore it.

      7. Yes but we do have to believe in ourselves otherwise it would lead to madness. I understand what you are saying about contemporary music but I believe you understand it very well and it’s an emperors new clothes situation. However I will try to bite my tongue a bit more in future.

      8. Don’t bite your tongue. The problem is with the discussion format. I never take offence because I live in a country where the language is not my own. I know how easy it is to be misunderstood. And I’m being serious when I say I really do not ‘get’ experimental music. It always seems to me to be on the same tonal range, and evoke the same range of emotions. A bit like the music to a horror film.

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