General Poetry posted November 27, 2020

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Arborglyphs (see note)

I'm Ready...When Is It My Turn?

by Cynthia Adams1

Brave saplings welcome
a heart with lovers' names carved
in their skinny chests

5-7-5 poetry contest writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a 5-7-5 syllable poem with three lines, where line one has 5 syllables, line two has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables again. The topic may be anything, only syllable count matters.

Example by starkat:

Don't eat yellow snow (5 syllables)
It's not healthy as you know (7 syllables)
Besides, it tastes bad! (5 syllables)

Symbols or words carved into trees are called "arborglyphs."
Tree carving has been done for centuries. It is mentioned in Shakespeare's, As You Like It: "These trees shall be my book."
Carvings exist in many countries of the world. Translations reveal shepherds have carved things like: "I am so lonely" or "Remember me; I will die here."
Carving hearts with lovers' names was most prevalent in this country in the 1920s and 1930s. People are drawn to the permanence of trees.
Some people speak out against the practice because they feel it disturbs/mars or endangers nature.
According to arborists, a single carving is rarely harmful. However, too many cuts can create openings for infection. A large amount of carving can actually girdle the tree, destroying its ability to properly move water and nutrients through the trunk.
(information taken from

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Artwork by cleo85 at

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