STILLNESS IS THE DYING MYRTLE

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STILLNESS IS THE DYING MYRTLE

Stillness, is the death knell of the ancient tree

standing silent and broken amid a verdant surround,

its trunk fractured like a shattered bone, its branches, fallen.

Its crown, long since toppled, lies somewhere, nearby,

perhaps weakened and severed on a battering, stormy night.

But this tree is not yet dead,

its bark succumbs to parasitic fungi, feasting;

rot devours its core, turns its age-rings to dark pottage.

Yet, the remnant of its frame stands like an old digger,

at attention, upright and proud, taking a final salute.

 

Amid the glorious green of nature’s palette,

native comrades, dogwood, wattle and blackwood;

fern, lichen and moss paint their hues about their dying companion,

with every stroke of breeze, an epitaph.

And in the quiet dusk and low-lying mist, the myrtle,

its aerial roots grown like talons,

clings stoically, tenuously to the infecund mountain slope,

its life well lived, its beauty not yet denied, its last cast of seed long sown

to where in the barren ground is conception, new life begins, regeneration,

saplings whipping at the unstill air as they, too, set upon their journey

to the azure call, the clear sky above the brooding canopy of ancient forest.                                       

Rose Frankcombe © April 7, 2013

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An ancient Myrtle growing on the slopes of Mount Victoria, NE Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe

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