You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a sculpture,
each groove and knot moulded by careful hands,
texturising bark and smoothing nodes.
A representation of life, but not life itself.
But the truth is, not so long ago,
it would have danced with the wind,
green baubles flapping freely while
its long arms waved to the birds
and swallowed the sun.
Oh, how vibrant and rich it must have been once, before they came and hacked and hacked
Why this brutality, this disregard for natural form?
To make it safe, perhaps? Lessen the chance of falling limbs
onto fences and fancy cars?
Bricked-in and sawn like that, I often wonder:
Can it survive?
Will it survive?
Or will I spot its tired spirit one day, lingering outside its trunk,
circling in the hope of reviving itself
before finally giving up and drifting away?
And yet, reaching from old wounds and summoned by the seasons,
tell-tale spindly shoots appear: the newest of new growth.
It lives! It lives still,
though little care has come its way.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, ‘traditional’ fundraisers etc.) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.
If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!