It’s May and the Rain is Falling

It’s May and the Rain is Falling
Ryan Griffiths

It’s May and the rain is falling;
The hills were just going from green to golden
But now it’s May, and the sun is stalling.

This time before summer – usually free and jolly –
Tonight will be cold with logs unburned, wet, and molden;
Today, dark clouds cloak this land with melancholy.

I step outside when it should be warm –
Stinging rain, treacherous wind – a curse of olden.
Why in May must I weather this storm?

But no! This gloom cannot make me blue!
Light must lie ahead that is pure and golden,
Because tomorrow is June and with it comes a brighter hue.

Yes, tomorrow is June, and the sky will be clear;
Freedom is coming on swift flying wings.
But June is soon, and whatever it brings,
More rain there will be for me to fear.

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Oh how my mind wanders in Econ class. I found this one scribbled on a page in my economics workbook; I don’t even remember writing it! I must have been lost in some serious revery… It was untitled in its original margin, but I decided on calling it “Economics.”

Waves crash at the bottom of a cliff;
Toes over the edge, I’m high above the ocean.
Looking down, my hands out,
They’re holding products:
Those waves are too strong.
I think I’ll stay up here and watch –
My toes over the edge –
But I’d rather not be holding these products,
These burdens…
I throw them, one by one,
Beyond the cliff,
Into the crashing waves

The original rough draft in my econ workbook.

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King of the Hill

Up on my hilltop
Looking down on the bay;
I see roads, houses, a bridge –
All so far beneath me.

Up here I am king
Of that land below;
From my castle at this peak
I rule as far as eye can see.

Suddenly I heard a voice from behind;
As I gazed up I realized
It was the great mountains
Who had begun to speak –
                                      High above me.

It was the great mountains who had begun to speak - High above me.

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I haven’t posted in a while but alas, my muse has finally looked down upon me and seen to it that my creative juices start flowing and the light-bulbs of creation above my head shine brightly; be on the look out for regular posting once again.

This is a poem inspired by advice from my dad that I always try to keep in mind. (I played around with haiku a little for this one)


Laid back on a couch,
Smiling face – content with life:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff…

It’s all small stuff.”

Posted in Poems | 1 Comment

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 33 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 36 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 101mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was October 20th with 117 views. The most popular post that day was Eighty Percent Rubber.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for hill road, дубы, gnarly oak trees, “shooting star”, and forest sun.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Eighty Percent Rubber October 2010


About October 2010


Headstone On The Quad October 2010
20 comments and 3 Likes on


Looming Moon November 2010
21 comments and 4 Likes on


A Walk In The Woods November 2010
15 comments and 1 Like on,

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


People look,
And some of them say:
Those shoes are too old,
     Too ugly,
          Are they going to mold?
               Those must be broken.
But no one could ever know,
These vans have been from Degobah to Vulcan.
From the grave these crept,
Covered by skulls
If scrutinized,
They will penetrate the souls
     Of all.
And I’ve heard it said:
Those sure look
          Worn out.
                    Look at those holes.
You miss the light and the shout
Of the golden tread
     My shoes leave about.
The journey of life
These vans have took;
     Scarred by the road;
     Stabbed by thorns of the wild;
     Smothered in sauce more than mild.
Have you seen blood,
Or withstood the waters
     Of the flood?
These are slips
That would face these plights
Without any frights,
Without any fits.
All show their colors
     Bright, easy to spy;
          They are worth more than dollars.
               White, behind watching eyes.
                    The Vans.

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Winter Sun

It was a forlorn curtain
That left us hidden from the sky
But when the gray velvet lifted
A winter sun flew high.

Although farther in distance
This winter sun keeps its mystic powers still –
For I see grass sprouts shooting
From what was yesterday a barren dirt hill.

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Blogger of Note at Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom Readers — welcome to The Gnarly Oak. I am the current Blogger of Note! Thanks so much, Words of Wisdom for the opportunity and thank you to the WOWers visiting.

I live in Los Altos Hills, California; since my early childhood I have discovered profound inspiration – and learned many lessons – from the nature around me. The gnarly oaks and skyward redwoods of the area can bring one back to their very roots – the true you – untainted by society. I do not blog to preach any of my beliefs but rather it is my hope that through my work you can make your own realizations about your life, your appreciations, your philosophy. Below are links to some of my favorites, you can use them as possible starting points.

Berry Creek Falls - Big Basin Redwoods State Park - 7 miles into an 11 mile loop

Prying Open My Third Eye
A Walk Among The Sheeple
Shoes In My Brain
Starry Night
Looming Moon

La Paloma

Short Stories
The Lenses

How The Gnarly Oak got its name:
Song of the Oak

Besides these select few, The Gnarly Oak is populated with many more pieces. If you like what you see in the links above, keep reading; there is so much more!

Thanks again for visiting,
Ryan Griffiths

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Song of the Oak

Amongst rolling golden hills and between fog-covered coastal mountains are the ancient oaks of Los Altos Hills, California. Nestled sporadically over great and endless knolls, devoid of life during dry summer months, the oak trees of Los Altos Hills – so numerous around my home – speak to me in an unheard language. Like any person I am the sum of my successes and failures but unlike the masses I have heard the language of the oaks – I found meaning in their forgotten voice.

When my expectations are met by failure and my eyes burn in tears of sorrow, I set my gaze upon the oak and am entranced by its massive trunk – wider than my car – and am spellbound by their gnarly branches – twisting at unmanageable angles to find the sun that gives it life. Lost in the oak’s song I feel wind on my face and watch gusts bend the tree until it nearly breaks; I hear lightening strike its core, splitting the trunk in two and watch as it grows on – its beauty only intensified by its scars and deformities. As my thoughts meander through the oak’s past, I see my shortcomings in a new light – bad test grades only make me smarter, losses on the lacrosse field only aid in my next victory – and when the trance is broken my problems ail me no longer.

Upon success I sit in the tall golden grass between the oaks’ trunks and listen to their songs yearning for the time when artificial sweeteners did not contaminate the fleeting taste of life’s cake. Their wisdom tells me of the fullness, the potential of life. Like the existence of the oak, everything I experience – positive or negative – success or failure – represents to me a deeper relevance as part of my journey, part of my growth, part of my own mane of gnarly branches searching for what makes me thrive. Every experience my life brings me help mold my shape rather than merely fade away – another meaningless accomplishment.

Life in Los Altos Hills has given me the rare opportunity to take on the shape of its mystic oaks. I can weather a storm, yet it is what I can find within that storm – the wisdom I gain from its struggles – that makes me who I am.

I have heard the language of the oaks - I found meaning in their forgotten voice.

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Looming Moon

I look to the sky on a damp fall morn,
The early blue heaven showed streaks
Clawed by many shades of gray.
Far off to the West were mountains
Waiting for the coming day
And above them was a floating rock:
The full glowing moon.

Just as the sun blew its waking horn
From behind the Eastern peaks,
The dim orb stopped; it had something to say:
Come to me, my child, so lost you are;
Here on the craters you will find righteous way.

It is only this globe that these earthly legs can walk
But up there – where it’s glowing – my thoughts forever loom.

But up there – where it’s glowing – do my thoughts always loom.

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