Poem For a Girl (Who Is Also a Birch Tree), by Stanley Gemmell

Love this! It reminds me of this poem.  Sweet birch is one of my favourite trees.  Also, I’m traveling for the next week or so with only patchy internet access, so forgive any lack of updates.


Poem For a Girl (Who Is Also a Birch Tree)


Cross hatched with pollen

Arms sensually akimbo

Frost seeming and inviting

Dimensional arcing thoughts

Gravely beautiful and upright

Letting lovers peel your bark

And inscribe their names upon you

At night converse with the dark

Receiving news from wonder

So as to stay one step ahead


You once saw elemental war

Where contrary dominions

Sought your possession

O, most enigmatic glance

Shot from your shining,

Mineral brow

Girl whose scented and smooth

Long, soft neck sheltered armies

Souls tired with searching

At your waist offer

Cupt hands with tears

Full of lightning

And the collapse of thrones

And gatherings

Of the masses of men!

You are the reflection

Of our subtle study

Of existence.


Thorn seeming

Yet gentle

Girl all of sloping.


Birch tree

Snow reflecting



Thick and warm hips

To woman’s waist

Proudly set.


You were adorned gaily

In diadems and jewels

Bedecked in glee.


There were feastdays

Long seeming

And full of miracles.


Men like moss

About your roots

Who curl and jut.


By stand again

Luminous rise

Full of wisdom.

Snow panther pads

About you first

To lay down by your trunk

And let the moonlight

Dapple his coat

Atop a gentle hill

Lone among trees

Always different

And magical

Full of chance

Full of equations

Girl near a river

Whose path

Freezes in winter

Allow yourself to melt



Snow panther pads

About your eaves

Lithely climbing

To enjoy your softness

And strong limbs

Moon skinned and

Beautifully frayed mind

Harried with magnificence

According to the blued evening

With constellations

Bright as small, white fires

About to hunt

Divinities congregate

At your grove

Enjoying view

Of sweeping wonder

To decide the fates

Of men they’d like to see

This one and that

Picked for heavenly

Concourse, O,

Marvellous duty!


Power condensing

Beneath you

Filling earth mound

Warm veined pulse


To dream again

An Atlantis

Of remembered ancestors

Tall and cruel omens

In your grace


To the night


Are also passing things.


You have seen

The grieving trees

Catch on fire.

So now how best

To be always



Let the wood nymphs dance

And flicker between worlds


Let the armies of men

March grimly


Let the demigod of lust

Be released for one day


Let there be horn

And tusk

Wild frost boar at your breast

Snow elk loping at your belly


Moon bathed girl

Psionic and vigorous


Covered in faerie dust

Glowing amber

Let your beautiful cheekbones

Be kissed by lips of green flame


Let your body

Be the temple of a god.

– Stanley Gemmell


4 thoughts on “Poem For a Girl (Who Is Also a Birch Tree), by Stanley Gemmell

  1. What a lovely long poem full of stunning pictures! Never look at a birch tree the same way again, not that I have much chance of that here, but the wonder transfers to other trees, yes?

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