Being But Men

Being but men, we walked into the trees
Afraid, letting our syllables be soft
For fear of waking the rooks,
For fear of coming
Noiselessly into a world of wings and cries.

If we were children we might climb,
Catch the rooks sleeping, and break no twig,
And, after the soft ascent,
Thrust out our heads above the branches
To wonder at the unfailing stars.

Out of confusion, as the way is,
And the wonder, that man knows,
Out of the chaos would come bliss.

That, then, is loveliness, we said,
Children in wonder watching the stars,
Is the aim and the end.

Being but men, we walked into the trees.  — Dylan Thomas.

I woke this morning without inspiration. When I was a young boy I climbed trees a lot. I’d imagine being Peter Pan, Robin Hood, A Mohawk Indian, or an army soldier lying in wait for the enemy. I also just dreamed or read a book. Dylan Thomas captures a child’s life very well.

I wonder these days about dreaming amongst the trees. When did I quit dreaming? Why did I quit dreaming? When and why did I quit climbing trees? I miss a good climbing tree.

Being but a man life loses its wonder. That’s the beauty of getting older. We can become childlike again, and wonder returns. Let’s hope I will climb a tree again soon.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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