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Tuesday 23 July 2013

The Trees Are Pulling Up Their Roots

The trees are pulling up their roots,
not waiting for the end.
They always did have cultures of their own,
could calculate at dusk how much
of every vital nourishment they'd need
to see them through the night. Not only that,
they knew to make the hard decisions
when reservoirs ran low.

And now in pulling up their roots
they have a purpose loud and clear --
though quite mysterious to us.
They've pushed their complex mathematics
far beyond their world, investigated ours
and made their careful audits, sensed
what we still doubt -- or so dishonestly debate.
They've fixed their faith in life's finality.

Perhaps they've other thought forms underground --
their leaves a product of some secret art,
and not what we had thought. For sure
they had their land art long before
we had the nous to think of ours.
The oaks and redwoods lead the way,
the smaller trees, like children in their play,
do what they see the grown-ups do.

They were the first to feel earth tremble at the thought
of what must come to pass, the first to catch
the note of grief the trembling portrayed,
and were the first to say 'tis time to go at last!
They'd watched the birds fly off much earlier this year,
leaves drop like dead flies shrivelled by the sun;
they'd caught the resignation that we fear
when what's to come can't hold a candle to the past.


Mary said...

Wow, Dave, I think this is one of my favorite poems of yours of late. Comparing the trees puling up their roots to humans at the end of life is brilliant. I love

They've pushed their mathematics far beyond
their complex world, worked out our last
scenario, and sensed what we still doubt --
or so dishonestly debate--
they've fixed their faith in life's finality.

I do think we can learn a lot from the trees. They do lead the way...and yes what is to come cannot hold a candle to the past.

Mary said...

Dave, your blog is featured as Blog of the Week at Poets United this week! Enjoy!


Brian Miller said...

good morning dave...was nice to see you featured yesterday...when the trees pull up their roots we are done for , just saying....they have been around far longer than us, i am sure they know much more than us...hopefully they leaves/we leave roots for the next to follow....

Cait O'Connor said...

One word. Brilliant.

Susie Hemingway said...

I have not been here for a while but wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed catching-up. Your work is wonderful as usual and I so enjoyed this poem - maybe as I live surrounded by trees and yes so like people they are! A grand story contained within!

Gerry Snape said...

this is so tender..it makes me think of Lewis and Tolkein and all those magic thoughts yet a basic reality...of life ...then death...my garden is very refreshed today...breathing again!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Dave, this is a brilliant and heartbreaking poem, for those of us who love the earth and understand her distress. There a lot of fallen giants in this area, their roots pointing up towards heaven - thanks to all the clearcutting which has destabilized the earth. "When what's to come cant hold a candle to the past" - so nostalgic, and I so hear you. This is my favorite poem of yours and if I hadnt just made you Blog of the Week, would have to make this Poem of the Week. Smiles. A brilliant signature piece.

Helen said...

Deep and quite philosophical ... this is beautiful, Dave.

Elephant's Child said...

Wow. Brilliant, heart-breaking and true. Thank you.
How is your health? Improving I hope.

haricot said...

Pulling up their roots trees could feel the crisis of the earth,,, I feel as if I could hear their voice through your lines. Thanks!

jabblog said...

I agree - brilliant!

We can learn much from Mother Nature if we only care to look and listen. When the trees have fallen and the bees are dead there will be no hope for us puny humans.

Congratulations on Blog of the Week - richly deserved:-)

Dave King said...

Thanks to you all again for your generous and perceptive comments. They are all very much treasured.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Tremendous. Powerful, dramatic, actually, tragic message. And great rhythm and rhymes.

Anonymous said...

Agh! Hate to think of trees pulling up roots, even when written about as poetically as you do -

I enjoyed seeing your feature.

Take care, k.

Carl said...

Brilliant and sad. I fear the trees may be right.