So many times, I’ve walked past. Seeing but not seeing.
For this giant’s footprint, this decayed and blackened skeleton
has long scuttled from my attention. But now I pause.
ripples into sense:
Steps morph into centuries-old roots basking on the soil’s surface,
the ankle-high wall surrounding a stump-table
melts into remains
of an even larger trunk, worn smooth by time’s fingers.
Five of me could stand inside and still not knock elbows.
it was Lord of Trees once,
before disease or the elements or man
finally beat it down.
And though the realisation
that I’m hovering within its bones strikes hard,
I don’t mourn for long.
How can I
when this humble grave teams with life?
Fungi, lichen, moss –
they decorate its bark like the echoes of new growth.
Climbers and creepers seek its grain, grasping
it like a helping hand, a boost of support
for their own roots.
And here I am, connected to it all,
part of the quiet bustle that takes place despite winter’s clutch.
This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise funds for UK wildlife charity RSPB and to encourage an appreciation for nature. If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing it and/or donating to the RSPB via my Just Giving page here.
Help keep wildlife wild!