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The forgotten trees

"Oh I do love a Willow tree"

I exclaimed in delight.

"Look how it flows down to the lake

In moonlight"

But the Willow tree sighed and bowed down its green head

My words made no difference

It kept weeping instead.

It was Oak I decided was the very best tree

Strong, tall and sturdy and perfect for me.

So I planted a sapling and watched as it grew

But it took so long growing that I got old too!

Then I learnt one day about the Irish Ash tree and how important it's wood was for the Irish country.

So I set about putting my arms round it's trunk

But it's boughs starting bending as if it were drunk

And we swayed together like boats on the sea

And I realised then that it wasn't for me.

It was later in life I fell in love with Hawthorn

It's mythology, mystery, fae magic born

I felt that it captured the essence of me

The fairy Queen dancing with her Hawthorn tree

But as we danced for Brigid in the bright sunlight

Red blood started flowing, I jumped back in fright.

The thorns they were piercing my skin and I knew

(Though sad as i felt) what I had to do..

I said farewell to the Hawthorn as it waved me goodbye and handed an offering cloth my tears for to dry.

I spent time with the others in acts of sheer folly-

The Alder

The Rowan

Birch, Yew and Holly.

I had a particular fondness for the Hazel tree

It's folklore and stories were music to me.

We spent many years in friendship

Happy together

Yet something still called me like wind

to a feather

A whispering song in the air all around

A forgotten voice

An ancient sound

And my eyes they rested on two shapes so tall

That towered above me and made me feel small..

Yet safe, and so comforting

Familiar like home

Their deep soothing voices told me I'm not alone.

These sentinel guardians kept watch all these years

Stood with me through life

through heartache and tears.

"We weathered it all while all else fell asunder

when man pulled us down

when this land was in plunder.

Cut us down in our thousands our limbs burnt for heat

But we had stayed alive right under your feet"

"In the seventeen century our family arrived

From Scotlands shores they helped us survive.

For it was thought that in Ireland we were lost and long gone

But The Burren in Clare proved that we had lived on"

"The Druids and the Shaman knew of our healing power

The Lord of the woods, an Immortal tower.

And wildlife all know what shelter we give

Strong branches for nesting

Food all year to live"

When the trees finished speaking

My tears start to flow

My soul it remembered these friends that I know.

I ran to them both placed my palms on their bark

Their souls met my soul

Their words left their mark.

And i promised them daily they would always be mine

The forgotten trees of Ireland

The Native Scots Pine

Áine McGarry 🌞 2024

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Jan 03

I could imagine every tree through your words Áine. So beautiful.

x Smita


Jan 03

Love your poem, I was with you embracing every tree. Thank you for sharing it. Alma

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