Sunday, March 23, 2014

Album of the Heart ~ May 29, 1880

For a Friend 
from Leanna Johnson

In the good olden times, on the bark of a tree,
Friends would carve out their names, where smoothest it would be
On the rind of the bark, they would carve them so plain
The friends would depart, but their trace would remain,
When Spring, after Spring, would make green it's bed,
The names they had left, would continue to spread.

"If you can't find it here, you can't"

Yet better by far is the album I ween, 
where we scribble on white, to keep memory green,
The leaf is so large, we can write a whole song
And the book is so small, we can take it along.
We need not be roaming, our friends to recall,
But turn over the leaves, and we meet with them all.

I've been researching this entry in Great Grandmother Flora's Album on and off for months. Most of the poetic entries written in her Album are excerpts from published poets, but I can find no reference, no famous poet, no vaunted author associated with these wonderful words and clear imagery. Flora was 21 in 1880 so her friend Leanna was probably about the same age. Are these lines too world wise for a young woman? Who's to say, but regardless of who penned it, it was meant to be sharedIf you know who the author is please let me know and I'll correct the attribution. 

The tree photo was taken on a walk at Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO in 1970's. I hope it's still standing tall in the forest. It would be interesting to see how the carvings changed with the growth of the tree. The pup in the background was my dog Charis, a black lab/golden retriever mix who never found a puddle he didn't like.