Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Poem by Douglas Mallock

The tree that never had to fight,
for sun and sky and air and light,
but stood out on the open plain,
and always got it’s share of rain,
never became a forest king,
but lives and dies a scrawny thing.

The man who never had to toil,
to gain and farm his patch of soil,
who never had to win his share,
of sun and sky and light and air,
never became a manly man,
but lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease,
the stronger the wind, the stronger trees.
The farther sky, the greater the length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in tree and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth
we find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
whose broken branches show the scars.
This is the common law of life.

Douglas Mallock


  1. Love that poem. I want to add another line to the end that rhymes with "life" to complete the six line stanza rhythm. Maybe that form is meant to invoke a desire to finish it. It's been a long time since I've studied poetry forms. :)

  2. Wow, I love this poem. It's incredibly powerful. Or it is to me, at least. : ) Thank you for sharing it. <3

    @Oct I have never studied poetry. However, I wanted to add another line as well. That's too funny. Do you write?

  3. I do write short fiction and poetry, but have only been mildly published. A couple of state poetry contest books and one in a small journal called The Moraine. That one may have been short fiction. I have a LOT of rejection letters ... but I guess everyone who writes gets those until they are known. :) What would your line have been if you dare mess with Mallock's work (mess with it, mess with it. :))

  4. This is the common law of life.
    Heroes are formed from the greatest strife.

  5. That is my rendition... Any others?? :) Come on!

  6. This is the common law of life.
    A marriage of hardship and perserverance, as husband and wife.

    Yeah, I'm not a poet. But do you get it? Common law is a kind of marriage? Get it? *sigh*


  7. @Oct I shouldn't have messed with it. I knew better, but can't say no to a dare.

    I write, but it's nothing that you would know. : ) YA fiction. Well, is it ok to say that I write if I've only written one novel? It's not published, but I've received almost 200 rejections. lol.

    @Loo Your line was really good. : )