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I am an old tree. 
Some would say worthless,
Apart from those within my domain
Who live among my impotent limbs.

For some I am a permanent home;
Others see me as a convenience.
Within my bark lies refuge,
Shelter and food
For insects and small creatures.

What little remains of branches
Provides a resting place.
Not permanence for the feathered,
Or a place to bring up family;
Unless they should burrow deeper
Into my soul;
Into my lifeless trunk.

I may sprout green again
Even though it is merely grass,
Or weed. Sometimes bloom.
Seeded in dust and dirt
Collected after death.

Those shoots are not mine;
Nor my children.
Born of seed borne by bird, 
Or by wind,
I am merely their host.

I see myself in humankind.


In that world, the old and dead
Often leave a legacy.

If I do leave something behind
The recipient has little choice
In who benefits from my gifts;
Whether dead, or dying.

Some take little pieces from me,
Material or spiritual -
On loan as it were.

Others who win title and rights -
May take the inherited riches;
Take them for their own purpose.

Dead Tree - life in death - a poem of reflection

Ideally, there is a third way

To taking what is left. 

To build on and, from my bounty,

For the good of many.


Liken this to the axe-man who,
Seeing my treasure, harvests it.
Secures my worth for himself
Or for others, before decay 
And disintegration 
Set in.

The alternative would be
For me to disappear,
Or be taken without a care.

Fire is what I fear most.

Now that would be the real loss.

Copyright J S Morey 2020

Also, consider: The Hawthorn; The Oak;

Spirit of the Woods; Trees

The Dead Tree image courtesy of

Unsplash and Arun Clarke

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