The Ash Tree

ash-tree

I lost an Ash tree
That had been part of my yard
It was there before me
And I had watched it grow large.

I had climbed it and cursed it,
Made it part of a wall.
I watered and trimmed it,
And raked its’ leaves last Fall.

It served up a shadow,
Cool respite from the sun.
It shielded my garden,
From harsh winds from the West

I noticed lost branches,
At first just a few.
They broke off in windstorms
And littered the yard.

Last summer I witnessed
The shade had grown smaller.
Large limbs had grown brittle,
So many were gone.

The trunk had grown hollow
Now it was home for the ants.
The blackbirds still chattered
But the red robins had moved on.

I spoke with a neighbor,
I was concerned for a barn.
If the tree were to fall over,
It might cause great harm.

We brought out our axes
And went on with the task.
We took down the Ash tree,
Now just a memory of the past.

-cj holm

Unbound

Sylvie Gregoire

Soul Soaring – Painting by Sylvie Grégoire

Highest honor found
when truth soars with eagle’s wings
-hero’s dreams unfold

                              -cj holm
Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge 227 Truth / Honor
Prompt words: Truth & Honor
Haiku in 5-7-5

ronovan-writes

https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/11/12/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-227-truthhonor/

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

-Roosevelt Skerrit

Nutcracker Scheme

scrooge

Charge of sugarplums
Drawn-out for countless payments
-December reason

Twinkling dreams of fairy tales
Fiscal ruin comes in it’s stead

                                                 -cj holm

Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge 219 Charge / Reason
5-7-5 7-7

ronovan-writes

https://ronovanwrites.com/2018/09/17/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-219-chargereason/

Roots

I just received my results from Ancestry DNA. The results confirmed the research I’ve completed over the last 20 years that I am officially a displaced European “Mutt”!

heritage

For nearly two centuries, my genes were created by a indiscriminate breeding of the cast-off population of Scandinavia and Germany.  That my ancestors ended up in the Midwest portion of America by choice or a lack of direction is still under review. What is known is that all arrived seeking a better life for themselves or their family, not unlike the current crop of immigrant settling around us now.

My family history includes stories of young men and woman escaping war and famine. Some came for opportunities not available in their crowded homeland. Some were following their dreams, while others arrived because they drew the short straw! Whatever happened that made them take to the sea in the mid-eighteen hundreds, they all ended up as farmers and shopkeepers on the dusty plains of Dakota.

Together they survived because of a rugged independence imbued on them by the conditions they chose to settle in. They were a stubborn, some would say obstinate, people who made the best of their situation. (Who else would think that rotted cabbage and dried up whitefish (Sauerkraut and Lutefisk) could be cherished as the makings of a holiday treat?)

The fact that I still live happily in the rural midwest could be considered a testiment or a curse of the genes that shaped my being.

-CJ Holm

Lessons I Learned On A North Dakota Farm

Image ©2017 Clarence Holm

  • Never dig an outhouse hole deeper than what you can climb out of.
  • The fluffiest cats were always skunks.
  • Grabbing an electric fence in never fun, despite what your older brothers tell you.
  • The facts belong to whichever sibling is telling the story.
  • To judge a man, look into his friends eyes.
  • It is never good to take a bath in the same water as the youngest child.
  • Brakes on a John Deere only work if you can reach them.
  • The best neighbors come when you holler.
  • A man plows straightest when he looks at where he is going.
  • When your hands are full, it is harder to pick a fight.
             – Clarence Holm