The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Sciences vs Humanities

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You probably remember Joel Hutson, professor extraordinaire at College of Lake County and Elgin Community College.  Not only was he featured two years ago in one of The Seeker’s more well-liked pieces, but he has posted herein to provide his insights into science and film.  He took a scientific approach to last week’s post My Tree–I’ve included it below, and follow it with a full posting of the poem of which I spoke (the crappy one that I’ve never been too happy with and decided to scrap…).  I hope you’ll enjoy the different views of what’s happening to that tree on the corner of my balcony.  If nothing else, this is an example of how writers approach the same topics from  within their given disciplines.  Thanks for contributing, Joel.  ~  Jeff

p.s. hey wordpress–thanks once again for wrecking my line and stanza breaks!  you guys can’t fix this problem, really?

“Although poetry is not my forté, my latest hobby is growing trees from seeds. An unexpected side-effect of this hobby involves dealing with the anxiety produced by the changes in seasons upon tiny, seemingly defenseless seedlings, so perhaps I can offer some insights and ponderings that might help your poetic efforts.

“Everyone knows that leaves change color in autumn because they are dying, but, what many people don’t realize is that what are dying are not the leaves per se, but the tiny, green symbiotic chloroplasts (bacteria) that have evolved to live inside leaves & turn carbon dioxide back into sugar for food. Thus, the changing of a leaf’s color signals the loss not only of food to the tree, but the death of it’s ability to use sunlight, which itself is fading fast with oncoming winter. However, these trillions of tiny deaths allow us to finally see the beautiful red, orange & yellow pigments that the tree makes to help its little friends collect sunlight.” ~ Joel Hutson

Once again: The tree under consideration

In May, the locust tree

off the corner of my balcony

dresses in jessamine

that soon falls to the ground.

In August I lie

in the shade and recall

Syrian creation myths

when the breeze

whispers her name.

Now it is October.

Her branches are engulfed

in sudden yellow flames.

Soon she will blush, ashamed

of her weakness in the tide,

before she is stripped bare

and her leaves are blown

to the gutter.

I watch, unblinking.

~  Jeff Burd

Written by seeker70

October 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I feel you’re to hard on yourself Jeff. I find your phrasing very evocative of the impressions I get from watching trees through the seasons. I can’t resist adding that, as a biology instructor, I especially like the imagery of jessamine foliage/flowers growing back phoenix-like from the ashes of last years leaves, because the green chloroplasts in tree leaves turn our carbon dioxide (ashes) back into greenery (sugar).

    Joel David Hutson

    October 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

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