Revenge on the Ash Tree
Updated: Feb 16
Poor tree, what had it done except wave its arms
And look beautiful in the sun.
Here songbirds sang in its lofty boughs, -
Linnet, chaffinch, thrush, singing long and hard,
All the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’
Of their complex lives, the many secrets known to them
That Time and evolution had bequeathed.
A hymn to the beauty of divine form and kind,
Too abstract for the distracted mind
That dwells on throughout the blustery days
Of March, when snows blow rough
Through the sacred, naked crown,
And obscure the early spring rays
Here also the chequered woodpecker drummed
Out his message smart;
The squirrels played like strong, grey cats high up, -
To soon depart in leaps and bounds,
From branch to branch, skipping great leaps
Of faith as is their stance
Alas the tree had offended. It dropped leaves and twigs…
To the very earth and ground from which it came…
And so had to die.
Now only a few branches are left to nod and cry
Out their lament for the wind…
Such is their legacy – a mutilated relic by and by…
Of former glory and a sad end indeed
To a once beauteous story.
Fie I say unto thee…
Who had complicity and conspiracy in its wounds;
As with Christ and the Cross; they who missed its glad tidings,
And were deaf to its mute, yet happy sounds.
Nb. The Ash tree was a sacred tree in ancient British culture, including in Ireland: "Assemblies were held under these trees and it was sacrilegious to damage them in any way." (Morton, A. 1986. The Trees of Shropshire: Myth, Fact and Legend. Airlife Publishing Ltd., Shrewsbury, England. Pp. 114).