The Hostility of Trees


Strength of oaks shored up the sky,
Grey weight of clouds suspended,
Engorged, bearing rain and calamity.
The Clouds strained restless,
Wild wet winds worrying,
As the shepherd storm sought
To bring the elements in.
Sun strained to see events unfold,
But dark fold of clouds obscured,
And its light went unnoticed,
In the dark tumult below.
Deep in the forest lay a cottage,
In the eye of the storm,
Bounded by Ash and Alder,
Fae foe, Witch ward,
Its fecund garden sown
With random birch,
And the wisdom of Hazel
At its door.
Inside the children played,
Oblivious to the magic,
The elements,
And the ill intent
That the trees
Firm and resolute
Kept at bay.
White-whiskered grandfather
Watched through the misting window,
Ash in hand, beetle-browed,
Chanting as the fire
Cracked and popped,
And his will,
For now, endured.

© Greg Richards

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