Alticane – A Sonnet for Friday Fictioneers

Copyright-John Nixon

image: Copyright-John Nixon


I stand stock still among the crooked trees
and wonder why they don’t grow straight and true
could their strange growth be blamed upon the breeze
or will a careful search reveal a clue?

The theories range from mundane to bizarre
poor soil perhaps is all that is to blame
although some think ’twas spacemen from afar
that caused these trees to grow looking so lame

The theory that I like perhaps the best
is that a lawyer’s corpse was buried there
and as his crooked soul lies there at rest
these trees to his likeness began to bear

But whether reason’s normal or insane
I love these weird old trees of Alticane


Written for Friday Fictioneers, where our hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields gives us a weekly photo prompt and then invites us to let our imaginations run free.  The goal is to write 100 words.  I have gone over that quota by a bit, but it’s a challenge to write form poetry and stick to a set word count (my apologies).

although the name Friday Fictioneers denotes fiction, the twisted trees of Alticane do actually exist.  There are numerous theories about why they grow the way that they do, and my poem only highlights a few of them.  I have not yet been to see these aspens, but I plan to soon, as they are not much more than a one hour drive from where I live.  The picture reminded me strongly of pictures that I have seen of the Alticane trees, and I wonder if the picture was, in fact, taken there.



21 thoughts on “Alticane – A Sonnet for Friday Fictioneers

  1. I know whereof you speak about writing poetry to fit into 100 words. I wrote one of my all in haiku and managed to made the 100 words, but it’s tough. So kudos. Interesting about the Alticane trees and my dad would undoubtedly agree wholeheartedly about the lawyer’s soul. 🙂


  2. Those are some gnarly trees. I like that you applied some imagination to your immediate setting. It’s hard to do. (I admire those who do it naturally.) I like good sonnets, and I like good humor. I like your sonnet.

  3. Dear Bryan,

    You know how to tell a lawyer’s lying? …wait for it…His lips are moving. Sorry. I had to. Great sonnet with a message…or is that a deposition? As one not given to much verse I doff my chapeau to you.



  4. What a clever use of imagery, and I love the eerie feeling you crafted. I smirked at the mention of the lawyer’s corpse. After all, you are what you eat, and this goes for trees too! Amazing piece!

  5. I love this – especially the idea that a lawyer’s crookedness is responsible for the shape of the trees. Looking at the picture, there must be a lot of lawyer’s buried there!

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