Beech

A brilliant poem by Phil Poyser.

doggerelbanksy

                Beech

                 This morning

it towered 50 feet above the Leylandii fronds.

             Last year,

                                      rooks had nested in its canopy and swayed precariously

                  – like today –

    as if full sail on choppy seas, running before a

                       sou’wester.

                            On such a day,

                                            surely the only danger is ceding to the gusting gale,

                     tearing and tugging at those roots.

                             Ah, not so,

            for swarming up like a rigging monkey,

                                                      roped and helmeted, with chain-saw dangling,

                                                      comes the arboreal nemesis of standing proud.

                                Abseiling

              from one pitch to another, he picks off

                  branch after branch, each carefully lowered or crashing down

                        according to its girth, then metre lengths of trunk

                                                       and skull-busting slices, thudding to earth,

                                          till  just  the

                                          bare  stump

                                            r e m a i n s,

                                           s   t   a   r   k

                                             reminder of

                                                centenarian’s

                                                 former  glory.

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