keith holyoak

The Wildlife Tree

Faller, spare that tree
from some dead generation—
let it alone to be
the first seed of creation.
That ancient tree’s been burned,
blistered, scarred and beaten,
its gnarled branches turned
into soft flesh eaten
by grubs; it’s limbs are home
to owl and to woodpecker,
to bees and their honeycomb.
Its twisted trunk was thicker
than any other fir,
its green crown sat higher;
now this progenitor,
survivor of drought and fire,
stands by itself again.
One tree alone—but alive—
recalls the origin
of forest, how to revive
it after desolation.
Let all that live in groves,
in packs, or civilization
look out for their own troves
of wisdom time has scarred—
the darkening sky may redden,
so who might still stand guard
the day after Armageddon?

© 2006 by Keith Holyoak
First printed in Bellowing Ark (2006)



The Wildlife Tree

The Wildlife Tree
© 2005 by Jim Holyoak