The Dancing Tree - Poem by Sheena Blackhall
Crow flapped under the boughs of a creaking oak
Sensing something unusual was going to happen.
The oak had recently felt the urge to uproot
Deciding that it was darkened by its own shadow
Its branches hung horizontal, a gallows tree
The remains of the dying sun bled through its twigs
Spring pressed against its sides like a young fire
It seemed its roots had troweled aeons of midnights
It was nailed to its birth-spot, girning
So many hours of gravity!
So many anguished whimpers of fading leaves
Drifting into the empty rooms of the woods!
The past was a dead weight, a hard tethering.
People remember flowers
Like lovers’ promises on paths of kisses
Oak, knew only bitter and biting breezes
The weary sameness of weighty treadmill seasons
On tight-rope winds birds swung into the heavens
Children, green and pulsing, ran barefoot
Out of the ken of trees and parents
A malcontent miser, the oak
Counted its pennies of wrongs.
And so, with storm clouds brothing,
Thunder, lining the horizon
Oak twisted its roots out of reason
Out of the mulch and withering that was its life.
On the woody stumps of its feet
It left its familiar boundaries,
Hobbled its way past the smoke of hidden cottages
In the moonlight, it swayed and rocked
In the moaning wind, a sawdust dancer, it sighed
Free of its knotty shackles, it tasted newness
Crow cocked his weird head side-ways
Stunned on by strange behaviour
Beak agape at such unnatural practises
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