Tree dreams, by Martin Brown

Skirting the wood’s edge

I tread the same old path.

I enter the quiet darkness: the

Air inside is colder, damper.

My head is heavy with thoughts of her.


Recent snow smears the trees feet.

Above, the canopy is bright with last year’s growth.

Hopes remembered, new shoots still to come.


The pines are tall, straight;

Their trunks are sturdy and true.

I feel their strength. Despite the cold

I sense their wish for warm summer rain,

A fat summer moon to silver them with grace.


Laying palm to pine, I ask:

What do you dream of my friend?

To be the tallest, the strongest, the greenest?

Or have you some other end in mind?


Perhaps you’d welcome a saw, see it

As a beginning, not an end.

Freed from the earth, be reduced and shaped

By the hand of man.

A mast or deck plank, a captain’s table

Certainly seaborne, thrashing through the waves

Of southern seas, wild with excitement,

To have a future, not just a past.


This thought lifts me.

I search inside for my heart’s smile,

But still the tears come.


A sudden flavour stings my nose;

A salty sea breeze mixed with pine and winter spice.

Is there a saw that could free me for a new start?

I long to lose this earth’s grip, be free and silent in the deep;

Be another creature, swimming, not drowning.