Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Babbling Brooke

A tree-themed (well, imaged) poem-pair with a nod to Rupert Brooke...


Ash-keys unlock oaken doors,
Sycamores rescue drowning acorns
By sending helicopter-seeds
And lifefloats,
Catkins yowl to be let in,
Dogwood barks to be let out;
Both shed leaves upon the floor.


Willows weep for fallen deadwood comrades,
Elders send saplings to the Front –
They’re only following orders;
It seems just yesteryear that they were buds and blossoms,
Blooming on the may,
Flying warning flags from beech-masts –
Now thorns are set, fixed as bayonets,
Sound the advance,
March across the Nullarbor
From where some come home,
Missing twigs and branches,
Bearing lop-sided crowns and leaf-scars –
At first tended like heirloom bonsai,
But later, when still unsightly, newly foreign,
Planted in the corner
Of some forgotten arboretum.

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