Friday, 8 November 2013

Ode to the Fallen (Engaging with Life Forces around a Dead Tree Trunk)

As regular readers will know, I have a You Tube channel that is as much about my friend Graham’s videos as my poetry. Many a time, I have felt inspired to write a poem to try and do the video justice and vice versa. We hope you will enjoy what has been a team effort from the start:

I have just read today's poem over a new video. Graham shot the video while visiting family in Wiltshire recently, and I love it. I played it back several times, and then just had to sit down and write a nature-cum philosophical poem to accompany it.

Now, feedback suggests that some of you cannot access You Tube for one reason or another so I am repeating both poem and video (see below) here on the blog as well.

Many years ago, I confided in my mother that I was afraid of dying. Later that day we went for a walk in the countryside and she pointed to a dead tree trunk; we watched a variety of insects, birds, mosses growing and a colony of ants all building their lives around this 'dead' thing. You see," said my mother, "there is no death without life so there is really nothing to be afraid of...whether you believe in God or not," she added, knowing full well that I did not share her religious beliefs. (I had chosen to take a growing sense of spirituality from nature even at the young age of eleven). "Life and death," she said before changing the subject, "are simply different sides of the same coin."

My mother died of cancer 40+ years ago, and I still take great comfort in recalling the day we paused to observe a dead tree trunk and nature's living memorial to it...


Fallen, but not forgotten,
by its own kind
sure to keep a vigil of sorts
the whole year round

Fallen, but never alone
among its kind
proudly waiting for their turn
to come around

Fallen, by whose hand
no one knows;
some say an axe man, others
blame the wind

Fallen into glorious decay,
like autumn leaves;
nurturing, inspiring greener

If dead, not left without a care
by an Earth Mother   
demanding nothing of Time
but its signature

Once, a living icon for a world
of love and peace;
a cue for ants to keep running
rings around us

Copyright R. N. Taber 2013

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