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Poetry: Yggdrasil…Turning green…the voice

By John B. Nicol, June 13, 2024

Poetry: Yggdrasil…Turning green…the voice



I long to photosynthesize.

To plant roots so deep in soil that even after I am felled, a new tree grows in my place.

To sprout from my fingertips creation, beauty, nature.

To be strong, sturdy, stand through and weather any storm.

To scrape the sky, clouds parting around my limbs.

To provide calm for those around me, they shall not live in my shadow, but rather rest in my shade.

To support the heavens, maintaining the balance, Atlas keeping the sky from crashing into the earth.

To grow branches so people my climb from where they’ve been, through what I am, and touch the stars they’ve been reaching for.


I’ll start with a leaf.

With the smallest impossible bud.

I’ll grow to a tree.

With the largest possible dreams.


Sonnet #6

The world is turning green for you, my love.

And, as it does, I feel emotions grow

like leaves upon a budding tree above

a verdant patch of grasses far below.


To bask with you in leafy, filtered light

beneath a rising canopy of trees,

to sit and chat ’til day becomes the night,

a pleasure, spending days with you like these.

And though the rain must come to wet the ground

when morning dawns, I’ll rise up wet with dew,

for there’s no competition to be found

to taking in the sights of life with you.


As answers to what I’ve been wishing of,

the world is turning green for you, my love.



After dialing the numbers and the phone ringing twice,

I hear a “Hello” crackle through the phone like a well-loved, and often used gramophone.


The voice tells me that no, this isn’t NASA,

this is Robert Osborn.

Robert, because that is the name his mother gave him,

and that is what he’ll be called.

Osborn, because that is the name his father gave him,

and he hasn’t had the courage to change it yet.


Robert tells me a lot.

Robert tells me about his life, his story.

Robert tells me about Florida.

Robert tells me that when he was given his phone number, that was him winning Life’s Lottery’s Jackpot.

Robert tells me that he gets calls from everyone, from children in hospital beds, to millionaires looking to book flights.

Robert tells me people don’t call the way they used to.

Robert tells me about space.

Robert tells me that since 2011, people don’t care as much about traveling to space, not the way they used to.

Robert tells me that he’s been called by more people than he’d ever dreamed, but less than he wanted.

Robert tells me that since his wife passed, he’s spent more time sitting by the phone hoping people would call.

Robert tells me that he’s just so glad to talk to someone who wants to listen to him talk.

By the end of the call,

Robert is crying.

I’m crying.

We’re both exhausted.


Robert lies to me, saying that’s all he has to say, and it’s time for him to get to bed.

I lie and say the same.

I lie to you, dearest reader, and say that this story happened.

I tell the truth, that this is what I’d like to imagine would happen if I dialed 321-LIFTOFF.




John B. Nicol is a theater artist, essayist and poet. He lives in Lanesboro.


Root River Current’s coverage of literary arts is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

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