Back to home page
Back to poetry list
STILLNESS IS THE DYING MYRTLE
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
its bark succumbs to parasitic fungi, feasting;
rot devours its core, turns its age-rings to dark pottage.
the remnant of its frame stands like an old digger,
at attention, upright and proud, taking a final salute.
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
Back to top
An ancient Myrtle growing on the slopes of Mount Victoria, NE Tasmania, Australia. Image: Rose Frankcombe