The Ancient Sycamore on the Scree


Last night was desperate

A gale raked the trees

Shook them and stripped them

And said rude things in their ears

The sycamore’s gown

Only yesterday splendid an’ reddish brown

Was brought down

Swirled round on the ground

And kicked to the corner in a mound

Yesterday was desperate.


This morning it’s calm.

The wind has packed up its suitcase

And gone off to strip

The aspen and maple and silver-barked birches

In Sweden and Saskachewan.

There’s frost in the air

The last of the leaves hang in despair

The tree like a sheared sheep stands bare

Bewildered in Autumn’s sharp stare

Drawing in her sap in haste


The wind may gloat in the spate

Of destruction and laying waste of late

But the tree is unperturbed

Deep memories and primordial moss imbued

Thick branches on thick roots

Twined over slate screes

And embedded in rocky fissures

There's assurance in her tight-bud shoots

Of tight origami folds

An emerald robe for the Spring sun’s gold.




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