The Last Tree Standing by Jocelyn Moore

Alone I live on rocky hill, my silent dreams within
I’ve stood here eons watching life, the sun’s warmth on my skin.
From tiny seed I’ve grown in height now towering eighty feet.
I’m home to wood land beings, sheltered safe within my reach.

The tickling feet of playful squirrels, the hummingbirds at war,
the wind which sings creation’s tunes, I know so well and more.
The tiny sprites who gathered seeds and dined on shadowed bough
have all moved on to other glens, it’s far too quiet now.

My pinecones were abundant in the years of heavy snow.
But rains have since abandoned me and moved to lands below.
The air grew dry and fires increased. I viewed its tongues of wrath
which scorched tree barks to charcoal crisp and nothing in its path
could stand in its devouring maw or flee the burning flame.
As trees ignited one by one, they shrieked their death and pain.

But God sent me a guardian, a nature child since grown,
through decades she would care for me, a wild tree as her own.
I always knew she cherished me; she’d pat my trunk and sigh.
She slowly spoke so I could know her actions and just why
she trimmed my lower limbs and cut my branches bare of green
“The fire climbs up dry needles and explodes like gasoline.”

We grew together, she and I, her babies became men.
Her spouse caressed her in my shade, until he left and then
her sadness overflowed her heart and watered me with tears,
the only comfort I could give, her sentinel these years.

But humans do not last as long as Ponderosa Pine.
She parted Earth for final rest and left me here behind.
I hear the buzz of chainsaws as the lumbermen draw nigh.
My body goes back to the soil, new life comes when I die.

Jocelyn Moore
August 2013

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1 Response to The Last Tree Standing by Jocelyn Moore

  1. soho says:

    The single, whimpering tear your poem summoned to my eye
    was ushered by a deluge and an empathetic sigh.
    Eloquently chosen words burrowed a tunnel to my heart
    they linger there in meditation, refusing to depart.

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