The Ancient Willow

A while back, I wrote up a post entitled What Good is a Roll Without Butter? about my dear brother-in-law Jonathan and how we composed a poem over the course of two days via text message.

Another while back, my husband, brother-in-law, and I were out on a jaunt in the little ol’ white Honda, and composed the following moving sonnet. We alternated lines as we rolled down the highway.

My lines – will be in regular type
Timothy’s lines – will be in bold type
Jonathan’s lines – will be in blue italics

The willow tree lies barren in the glen.
Its leaves have fallen down to grow no more.
Its mournful beauty still forgot by men,
Who wander aimlessly toward beck’ning shore.
What memories it holds and tales could tell,
Of evil and courageous deeds of yore,
Of yonder church when peals its wedding bell,
And cries of men who lie upon death’s door.
Though endless ages used to pass him by,
His time on earth is growing rather short.
For all that carries life must one day die,
And age and time both ruthlessly contort.
So life, an endless circle, rolls along,
And still none heeds the ancient willow’s song.

In case you were wondering…yes my family is amazing!

© Rachel Svendsen 2014

14 thoughts on “The Ancient Willow

Add yours

    1. Have you read the post about how my brother and law and I wrote the poem together? That was a fun time. 🙂 We actually played the sonnet game a few more times in the car together. It’s always fun to be the person who gets to chose what word the others have to rhyme to. I sometimes pick hard ones to make them squirm. :p


  1. One day, I’ll write an Italian sonnet with my grandchildren. And I don’t even have a. child yet. Buh seriously, your family is damn talented. How about lending your daughter’s for a nuptial contract so we can scribe an haiku .. winks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretty cool to have such a talented family. If I asked my family to help me compose a sonnet it would probably begin with the lines “There once was a man from Nantucket…” and the rest would not be suitable for publication!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What is the most confusing about it? Is it simply the pass from bizarre slapstick type humour to the introspective philosophical ponderings of a willow tree?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: