June Poems Update

Two topics have caught my attention this month. Firstly, Suz Winspear from Worcester has a signature poem entitled “Evil Trees”. I think she has been a little harsh, so have penned a reply. Secondly, the retrospective obsession in popular music is starting to irritate, prompting a poetic response:

The Rise of the Trees

We used to simply take root
Coaxed by warm sunlight and soft rain
Till we emerged to claim our place
Edging higher, inching wider
In natural languor

Days, weeks, months, years
Decades, centuries – it mattered not
Watching transient terrain from our germinated spot

In summer our blousy panoply unfurled
A verdant sight, in a peaceful world
Extending shade from midday sun
Till night drew in and day was done

In autumn we shed our leaves to keep the earth warm
Providing food and shelter for next spring’s new born
Whilst our exposed trunks shiver in winters cruel cold
And snow weighs down our branches as icy grip takes hold

But then our tormentors arrived in evolutionary challenge
To our sedentary ways,
Our former peaceful existence
To terminate and raze,
Cutting us down in slaughtered swathes
Cleared for farming in smoky haze

Children climb and snap our limbs
With callous indifference and toothy grins
Lovers too remember dreamy trysts
By carving their names deep with knives
To enshrine their carnal bliss

We are felled to build your houses
We are felled to build your boats
We are felled to simply burn for you
We are felled because we float

Yet you dare to call us evil!

As night spreads her dusky wings
And shadows flicker menacingly,
With all the witching hour brings

Our roots will rise to trip you
Our boughs will dip to blow
As in the silent darkness
You will come to know
That this is not evil, oh no

But knotted, gnarled revenge

You bled us for our sap, you bled us for our gum
This time the bark does not yield, biting back
This time our time has come.


The pace of now
Feels weaker

Time’s slowness becomes more pronounced
As pop is dragged, screaming, into a museum
To be observed, lifeless

Where moments become monuments
A future strangled by its own past
The rebellion is over

A revived, reformed, restaged, reissued, remade
Re-enacted, returned, re-launched, re-animated
Recycled, renovated, reprocessed, repossessed
Revisited reunion, a recombinant, revenant nightmare

“I am the resurrection” indeed

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1 Response to June Poems Update

  1. I love your reprise on Suz’s Evil Trees, particularly the revenge aspect and your use of repetition, it was good to hear you read it last Saturday at Worcester’s Fourth Plinth.

    And Retromania is a stunning poem, it says so much so economically. The final full stanza, almost entirely alliterative, reminded me of a song from way back when 😉

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