The Lesson in Broken Branches

An uninterrupted moment of silence

The proverbial calmness

After the passing of a storm

Stygian clouds still lingering…


But quiet for now

Far in the distance as the eye sees

Brightness peeking through

Illumination hangs on the fringe of the darkness


Seemingly out of reach

To those

Out of touch


A visionary vision of sorts

Light emerging from darkness…

As if one could contain the other


Bordering on whimsical delirium

A collection

Thoughts unanimously unfinished

Of what could or could not be

While the escalating clouds remain steadfast

Demonstrating their resolve

Bounding to and fro with the prevailing winds

Yet refusing to dissipate

And allow the light to intervene


Down below,

Broken branches litter the landscape

A collection of shapes and sizes representing…

Old and young

Their tale revealed

In a short-lived narrative

With an unexpected ending,

When storms came calling

Proudly they stiffened in the wind

In a show of strength


Bordering on demonstrative refusal

To bend to a higher power


Their weakness exploited


Presumptive expectations of their physicality

Against that which has more might

Splintered reminders…

Lasting scars

Growth sacrificed

For nothing

Only the wisdom

That the strong do not always survive unscathed

Unless they understand

The magnitude

Of the coming storm


Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

5 thoughts on “The Lesson in Broken Branches

  • June 15, 2017 at 10:17 PM

    Yes, some great unique phrasing and imagery Ralph. So well penned and eloquently delivered verse. Cheers!

  • June 17, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Awesome piece my friend….

  • June 17, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    This is a wonderful piece of poetry, Ralph. I am a lover of nature, trees..and storms in fact. You describe it all so we’ll hear. Large established trees are seen as a simbol of power but even they cannot always withstand the ravages of a powerful storm. Some trees however develop a way of combatting these opposing forces of nature and grow with a lean towards the direction that the fiercest winds usually come from thus being less likely to snap or be uprooted.

  • August 14, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    Incredible verse! One could almost feel the strong resistance of the trees to the storm! Lessons to be learned that no matter how strong we are, we cannot be unscathed when faced with the magnitude of a storm.


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