Each year Alpine has a health challenge, which, much like it sounds it meant to challenge one to be healthier.  Usually one of the challenges is to exercise.  I hate exercise.  I love what it does for my mental state and I love how it helps my body, but there are very few movement related activities that inspire me.

Alpine just added a new fitness and recreation building.  Among other features, it has a weight room with a treadmill.  I’ve started running.  Running is exercise (refer to the preceding paragraph).  There is a red lever on one of the weight machines I usually stare at because it is at eye level and straight ahead.  I should be thinking about how each movement is gazelle like in form and how each muscle flexes and does whatever the opposite of flexing is, but instead my mind wanders in an attempt to forget I’m exercising.

As it strays, I often think of my family, my personal life, and my work life.  Not so surprisingly, the three often overlap.  For example; one day I was thinking about my unfinished basement and some of the items stored there.  One thing was a Ficus tree (ornamental fig).  I don’t really want it, but it seemed a shame to get rid of it; if only there were a use for it!  My mind continues to wander and I would like to explain the exact train of thought, but wandering doesn’t have a direct path, so I will just say there are some associations with Christmas tress and wanting to display girls’ work in a meaningful fashion.  By the time I climbed off the treadmill and finished my workout, the idea was almost fully formed.  In the shower, I finalized the details and the Poa Tree was born.

That is the literal version of the Poa Tree.  For some of you who enjoy the flowery language of the past when all one had to do in his/her spare time was read, this is the more literary version.

Deep in the hundred acre wood, after the Tulgey wood, but before the Truffula trees reside a rare specimen of tree.  It is the Poa Tree.  For much of the year, it seems lifeless with a twisted and gnarled trunk and brad almond shaped leaves.  Yet every spring, as the snows of winter begin to turn into the streams of summer, it bears fruit.  Unlike many flowering trees that send out buds, that blossom and turn into fruit, the Poa Tree is given its fruit by the resident woodland nymphs.

One day the tree is just branches, leaves and a trunk; the next it is filled with vivid colors and poetic expressions crafted by the nymphs.  For nearly a month, it remains in bloom until the heat of summer forces the flowers into dormancy for another year.

Here are some fruits of the tree:

by Mayan

The crashing of a bottle and the sounds of my screams echo in the room
The blank expressionless face of my father stares blankly into my soul
The word divorce echoing in my mind
Memories play like a black and white movie, trying to deduce if it is a lie
I kick and scream and cuss and shout
The pain too much to bear
The tears stream down my youthful face in what feels like gallons
The faint sound of my heart breaking sounds like a thousand horns
My ears pump with blood that has started on a low boil
My foot aches in pain from the couch that I kicked
But no pain can bear what I have experiences
The adults act like children and the only child is the adult
Differences out in the open and similarities aside
No one can agree and I have run out of places to hide.

by Kat

The land of the free
The Holy Place
To be dreamt of by some
Or to be taken for granted
Built on new ideas
Progressive at birth
Conceptually so promising
Only to be corrupt by
Degrading pop music
And reality TV shows
Defined by ignorance and hypocrisy
We call our brother aliens
While residing on a land that was never ours
Passionate about fast food
Making us evolve slowly
Greasy fries can’t save us from ourselves
Anyone who can think for themselves
Will not say they’re “lovin’ it”
Power is a wealthy Caucasian Subconsciously suicidal
Freedom is a fat man.