Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Family Tree

Roots gnarled, pokes sharp
through black soil.
Trunk slants to one side
in a weary lean of surrender.
The branches,
they don't sit so well;
through moonlight their shadows crawl
up my wall in a crooked twist
and weave; so close,
and yet the distance
of sticks and stems
is a whispered breath,
a wandered mile.

Bark weathered, chipped,
its face of worn whorls, crack
like the desert floor.
I set them free,
these handfuls of dust,
through limp fingers
and the storm carries them away, far,
in a frightful gust of wind.
My eyes sting.
Splinters of past wound me
and I bleed my Grandmother's tears
and the hundred years
of growth rots
at garden's end.

We cut it down;
the rotten tree.
Branches burn to ash,
twig to dust.
By the warmth we wait,
the white singe
of smoke drifts away.
We do not stoke the embers.
We watch them glow orange red,
a slow fade to black
on dying breath.


  1. Amazing ... loved to read this

  2. I will have an old tree to look at through my window soon, but I'm sure as heck can't come up with verses like yours. Will you come and burn my palm trees in the front yard?

  3. Wow. This is impressive. You are talented. Enjoyed very much.

  4. Dnt normallty comment but had to cos this is amazxing!

  5. Are you referring to the ideas of families growing apart and the traditional family unit dying out? It's beautiful whatever. Sad.

  6. Sounds like quite a lovely funeral. I wish I had been there. Nevertheless, I am sorry for your loss.

  7. Thank you for all the lovely comments. I am sorry for my prolonged absence and that I could not reply sooner.

    I'd rather not tell you everything about the poem; I think it speaks for itself.

    And Bruce, it was a lovely funeral. But I suffer no loss.


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