#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 22 – Chattering

Some say

trees speak to each other,

whispering pasts and presents our kind cannot comprehend.

These tales were woven as folklore, myth

but

keen minds have been at work

to research, ponder, analyse.

Their findings? Remarkable things.

If a tree is starved, its neighbours sense its desperation

and pass along nutrients to sustain it.

Their network of doing so is a curious one – fungus, they employ.

A phone line

of fungus which latches on to roots

and connects them to others.

In return,

a small percentage of sugar food must be paid.

Typical service charge.

Warnings can be given, too.

Of drought, pests, disease.

With the time

these messages bring, the collective

can change its behaviour.

Each sapling, each grandparent,

altering, slightly, to protect themselves.

In China, a bright green flower –

picked often for its herbal properties –

grew tired of the picking.

Plucked at again and again.

So it bloomed duller, then duller still,

until it matched its surroundings.

Hidden, protected

from eager hands.

Aerial footage, sped up

enough for us to discern the goings on,

shows a forest’s movement.

How each tree sways, branches linking

then parting,

trunks leaning first this way, then that.

Not unlike brain activity,

synapses pulsing with signals,

leaves drifting between.

Watching this slow progression, I wonder

if Tolkien was on to something.

Maybe trees and other plants can talk, but,

like Entish,

the delivery of their words is not

for the impatient.

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!

Poetry

When the sun sets on the third day

If we could trace a thought from brain to mouth,

I wonder what form it would take?

Are the thoughts that get stuck in your throat

giant corks,

bottling your voice

until so much pressure builds up

it pops off and

everything comes gushing out at once?

What if they’re shaped like rare jewels

and are followed by a thief who disconnects the wires so your voice isn’t just held back,

but lost altogether?

Do you build up more walls,

or travel up the staircase

to reconnect the circuit

as many times as it takes?

Poetry

Grimlock

Me, Grimlock

I can take all of you on

shoulder force, jaw ready

No problem I can’t smash away

 

Me, Grimlock

I can be on your side

watch me crunch, watch me maul

I’m the behemoth you want

 

Me, Grimlock

I’ve got nothing to hide

I’ll bare my teeth, eyes glowing

Tell me your war stories

or I’ll spin some for you

 

Me, Grimlock

I’ll seek you out

You can’t match my strength

rough or not, your meagre force

won’t survive very long

 

 

Poetry

Rolling chances

How do you weave a web

if you don’t have a corner to claim as your own?

 

How do you spin the spindle

if there is no wheel or thread to be found?

 

How do you sing a note

when your voice is too worn to be heard?

 

And when do you have a chance

to raise your hand

when the forest is already crowded?