1/24/24 Workshop – A Poem by Wing Tek Lum

Wing Tek Lum


Warmup Image:

Co-constructed poem:

a tree in winter
A tree without leaves—-a winter tree
graceful trunk, twigs with the promise of hope sprouting
craggy branches
The tree's life is being challenged by weather. But it thrives.
Veil, interweaving of delicacy and strength
The skeleton of the tree. A winter view


Plum Blossoms by Wing Tek Lum

Cold mountain winds scour the valley.
A hush descends upon the hard earth,

betraying no tears.
The gaunt plum hugs the river.

Its branches, shorn of leaves,
reach out like stark cries

in the Winter night, a spider’s agony.
Yet nubs of blossoms

nudge through the crinkled bark
on one twig, then another.

Buds nestle in crooks and crevices,
white as frost, grudging smiles,

a compassion nourished from within,
seeking air, seeking light.


Reflective writing prompt:
Write about the harbingers of Spring.


4 thoughts on “1/24/24 Workshop – A Poem by Wing Tek Lum

  1. Tony Errichetti

    All the Bs remind me of the bees that will be out when Spring arrives. I can hear them buzzing in your poem. From bursting to becoming! The natural order of things.

  2. Anita Lim

    this word evokes doom usually, why that?
    the negativity bias within me
    that gnarly knot.

    I have to

    Lighter days
    birdsong doesn’t change
    Is it me that changes?
    pushing out from beneath snow
    frosty ground
    Green shoots on bare branches burst forth
    Crocuses purple mustard white
    nestling around tree roots and
    carpeting the ground

    • Hi Anita – Harbinger can have a negative tone to it. In this personal piece, it made me wonder about the writer who wonders what the future brings. There are the references to Spring, which we know for sure is coming, but the reference to the “knarly knot” and their need to pause, slow down, breathe, seems to indicate a conflict between inner turmoil and “Lighter days.”

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