One Hundred Stood

One hundred stood shading;
tall, trusting, thriving trees
till the heavens opened
their mouth like a multitude of
mottled black humpback whales;

spouting, raging upon earth.
Pounding, pounding, pounding
huge, hungry, hurtful torrents
of rain racing and running past
and though my hundred; blood 

flowing in the earth rooted vain
landscapes now lapping at once 
study, towering trunks with bark
oozing crying like a child in need 
of comfort. But there was no one

who could aid in their clamity
for disaster had done its deed.
Thick husky trunks wore water
boots which would be their last
apparel, as dragon flies frolicked

upon the surface of a newly
birthed pond where once seedling
grew and thrived in rich woodland
that canopied my sunny back yard.
Water still flows… now from my eyes.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very ready help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth shakes and the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.”

Psalm 46:1-3
It’s been over a decade since the flood affected more than one hundred trees. Water was almost knee high in a place where garden, fruit trees and play structure had occupied. Our woodland surrounded the acre of land. Within a few years tree after tree began to wither and die. Some still stand today rotting upright waited to tumble to the earth and become rich soil. Not only does man clear the earth, but nature itself seems to be in conflict.
P. Wolf, poet & author posting at: https://earthweal.com/2021/03/22/earthweal-weekly-challenge-deforestation-last-stand-at-fairy-creek/

8 Comments

  1. This sounds like a cataclysmic flood, and how sad to have to watch the trees slowly form! I think nature is fighting back against our negligence.

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  2. I love the shape of this poem, Patti, thrusting upwards like a sturdy trunk, and if you turn it on its side, it’s like a forest – one hundred ‘tall, trusting, thriving trees’. I also love the simile comparing the heavens opening to ‘mottled black humpback whales’, the alliterative ‘huge, hungry, hurtful torrents of rain’, and the cycle of life you convey.

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  3. This is powerful. It makes me think of the deeper consequences of the terrible floods that are now inundating large parts of south east Australia. My eyes too are filled with tears.

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  4. Such a powerful poem. I could feel the battering of the storm. Nature in full power is very mighty. I am glad the trees were left to die off naturally, as dying and dead trees are still habitat for wild things. At the end, when they topple, they do feed the earth. I am glad you wrote about that. Many people don’t understand that. It must have been especially saddening to you, since this forest is so near to your house, and is so intimately known to you. I feel the same way about the forest near me, slated for housing. It is going to be very hard watching it come down.

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