Sway Over Trees – A Poetry Sample

Inspired by word of the LORD by mouth of Jotham, the son of Gideon in Judges 9:7-15.

You men of the world, listen to me,
That God might listen to you.
I will tell a story of a forest of trees,
One that you surely knew.

The trees went forth to anoint a king,
Their branches digging ground.
As they swayed to walk, their leaves did sing
A gentle but anxious sound.

The hundreds of trees, an olive they saw
That dropped from its humble bearer.
The ropy trunk obeyed God’s law
To praise and honor the Saviour.

They asked the olive tree,
Of canopy so vast,
If he would be their king,
Unto the last.

The olive said, “Should I cease?”
“Should I cease to give my oil
“Ending my honor of my Prince
“To go sway over the trees?”

Then the trees crawled to a broad leaf
That had drifted to the earth.
The fig tree looked from beneath
Smiling in his fruits’ sweet mirth.

They asked the small fig tree,
Of fruit sweeter than sugar,
If until the ending days,
He would be their ruler.

“Should I cease?” the fig cried,
“Should I cease to make sweet fruit
“To give my heard to Him?” he sighed,
“To go sway over the trees?”

The trees gazed to the faroff vineyard.
They greeted the vine as he made his drink.
He cheered through his work, though his work was hard,
But God saved him from the brink.

Then they asked the steadfast vine,
Of the juice of God’s pleasure,
That if until fate’s dreadful sign,
He would be their leader.

“Should I cease?” asked the vine,
“Should I cease to make my drink,
“The cheer of man and God divine
“To go sway over the trees?”

The woodland trees bowed their leaves,
To see the bramble at their roots.
He gave no fruit that they perceived
Only tripped a wanderer’s boot.

Then they asked the tangling bramble,
Of kindling for the fire,
That until the world began to strangle
He would be their sire.

“If I’m king,” said the brier,
“If I’m king, come stay with me in the shade
“Or else I’ll ignite and give you fire
“And in flame’s cloak you’ll masquerade.”

“I’ll burn the entirety of the wood,
“Nothing will cease to spark
“Unless you anoint me, if I’m king.
“Then I’ll sway over the trees.”

There is the story; I hope you listened,
The tale of the woods, and their king
The bramble did eventually burn
And a new start it was,
And no one swayed over the trees.


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