Sigh, sough, bend low,
sing a song of sorrow:
I hold your branch
and feel the wrench
of what may come tomorrow.
Reach high, shield eye
join hands above me:
your branches bare
in bud this year
and ever after? Maybe.
I yearn, will learn
to spring forth like bracken
like peat, like soot
I pray to green, not blacken.
© 2023 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.
Written for earthweal
This week, Sherry asks us in her challenge, ‘The Age of Loneliness’ to:
Write about this loneliness, about endlings, about the solastalgia we experience from the impact of environmental change, as we ponder the species who are vanishing from our world at an astonishing rate, almost as fast as the glaciers are melting.
Yesterday was Mothering Sunday, and I spent some time in the Lake District, noticing trees, being grateful for them, and thinking about the many environmental threats they face as a result of our actions. I held the branch seen in the central photo, and felt the weight of its heavy soughing, its sighing. Yes, I am a tree-hugger. Unashamedly so.
Coincidentally (if there are any true coincidences), today’s entry in the wonderful Word Perfect by Susie Dent, is ‘Book.’ She notes:
“The history of the book is inextricably intertwined with trees, in ways that extend far beyond the production of paper. The original word, in Old English, was spelt boc, ‘beech’, for it was on the bark of that tree, or upon beechwood itself, that runes were cast and inscriptions engraved…
“It seems entirely appropriate that the tree — whose name shares an ancient root with ‘true’, because truth is loyalty, steadfastness, and solidity — was the birthplace for books.” — Susie Dent, Word Perfect (John Murray Press, 2020), p. 90.
It is high time we began to reciprocate such loyalty…
Thoughtful words and beautiful photos, Ingrid.
So interesting about the origins of those words.
I thought so! Thanks Merril 🙂
You’re welcome, Ingrid!🙂
A beautiful write and I love the inclusion of the Beech story. We are thinking along similar lines today. I hope that your health is improving. Good to read you again.
Thank you kindly Paul!
Thank you Tricia! 😊
Beautiful rhyme and rhythm, Ingrid! Thanks for sharing about the origin of words. Hugs from a fellow tree-hugger. ❤️
I am so glad you enjoyed this, Punam: 🤗 🌳
You are welcome. 🤗💚
Thought provoking – I love starting off my week with words that send the little gray cells ablaze.
Thank you so much! 🙏
“I pray to green, not blacken.” So beautiful. You live in such a beautiful area, though the photos show it has been stripped of many trees. I love the rhytjm and rhyme of your lovely poem.. I am always amazed at the generosity of Mother Nature, and trees, all trying so hard to keep life alive on the planet in spite of us. Yes, we need to reciprocate
This area is the most densely wooded in the Lake District, but we have lost many trees over the centuries, sadly!
Like Sherry, that last line, especially speaks to me. Trees are so central to life–acknowledged in the fact that so many cultural traditions include a tree of life. Beautiful rhythm as usual. (K)
Thank you, Kerfe. I try to speak up for the trees where I can!
How beautiful a poem that is alive with longing and with hope in the face of our ever-changing world! Lovely. ❤️
Thank you Layla 💚
Love SO much!
Thank you 😊
Lovely poem — and thankk you for the dreviation of the woord ‘book’. Wow!
Amazing, isn’t it? (The derivation 😅)
I can see how the trees in the header photo would inspire heartfelt poetry. They’re just beautiful. It’s painful to see great swaths of tree destroyed for more subdivisions, convenience stores, strip malls, and storage facilities.
It is criminal! We must protect what we have left. Thank you, Liz 🙏
You’re welcome, Ingrid.
You felt the weight of the branches heavy soughing and I felt the emotion in your writing, including your concluding thoughts. Beautiful work, Ingrid. 🌳🤗
Thank you Michele! 💚
A fine prayer to our tree Mothers. May we be worthy of the paper they give us.
Indeed, Brendan, thank you!
I join you in the prayer to green. Holding on to the vision of better, healthier world feels imperative now.
It certainly does, Suzanne, thank you 🙏
The song of sorrow for the trees will be felt for generations to come. Your closing lines really feel like a prayer of hope.
Sadly, yes. But without hope, we may lose them all!
Lovely photos! You live in such a beautiful place, Ingrid! Having read your exquisite, lyrical poem, I feel as if I have heard a choir singing.
I have hopes for the trees. Mother Nature is resilient, but it takes many years for a tree to grow to its full size, We need to do our part to save the trees.
Thank you for your kind words, Cheryl. I, too, still have hope for the trees!
Nicely rhymed. I see a song here.
Thanks Susan – I wanted a lyric!
How wonderful! I love the flow of words, and the placement of each one – perfect.
Thanks so much, Jeff 🙏
Very lovely, Ingrid!
Thank you Dawn 😊
A beautiful ode to the trees Ingrid. We’ve lost so many here with the storms1 💞
Too many! We must care for those we have left 🌳 ❤️
I too am a tree whisperer. And your poem is beautiful. May they all green over and feel the love. Blessings.
Thank you Selma 🙏