Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

James Tolan: Evening Trees

My grandfather was a storyteller who died

when I was young. He would take me

for walks among the evening trees and know

they were alive, pulsing with the life

that was his story. I run my hands

against the rough bark of an aged oak,

railroad spikes marking its trunk, and feel

my grandfather, his stories of lost children

stolen in the woods, when no one was there

but the wind and a thousand blinking eyes.


Copyright 2013 James Tolan. From The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, 3rd ed. Reprinted with permission of Autumn House Press.


James Tolan (1964-2017) was a professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.  He was the author of Mass of the Forgotten and co-editor (with Holly Messitt) of New America: Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society. Both books were published by Autumn House Press.

One comment on “James Tolan: Evening Trees

  1. triciaknoll
    March 13, 2018

    Lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2018 by in Poetry and tagged , .

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