A Tree is Breathing by Jane Desmond




Jane Desmond is a former modern dancer and choreographer, who now works as a scholar in the fields of cultural studies, transnational studies, and anthropology. The author/editor of five non-fiction books, much of her current teaching and publication focuses on the study of sustainability and on human-animal relations. She began writing poems after attending a workshop on image and text directed by the poet Stuart Kestenbaum and artist Susan Webster. This is her second published poem and reflects the landscape of the midwestern United States where she lives. 














A Tree is Breathing


Gently, now…


The tree is breathing.


Leaves hang like

small green hearts,

tiny pulses,

each tipped lightly to a tendril,

and that in turn to branch


Tatted tracery against the paling sky of

early morning’s white-grey blush


Ebbs and flows, dancing the

puffs and exhales of

invisible air.


Stirring, just slightly,

gently shaking tree awake at dawn.

Jane Desmond