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Trees - or life as we know it

A poem by John Morey

With three trillion trees on the planet
And 400 trees for every living human being
'There must be enough to go round'
(I hear you say.)

It's true.
For now. Maybe. But for how long? … but
I am not here to give you a lecture on the worth of trees
There are others much more qualified than I.
In any case you probably don't need telling.


No. I am here to discuss something much more compelling.
Something or someone
You. 
Or 'us'. Mankind. So consider this:

Trees have roots.
To begin with they spread not very far from the centre,

The trunk.
They are matched by an equal radius above ground.
By branches.

Is that not the same for you and I?

When we were young, our roots – our experiences – grew downwards
For stability.
But not so much outwards
For knowledge.

That came later. For most. Hopefully.

We are nourished – nurtured – by our parents
(Again, hopefully!)
In the same way that rainfall and minerals feed the tree.
Through its roots. 
(Or in our case, by families. Not always our own.)

But what of branches – the visible signs of growth?
Of progress?

They are equally modest.
Whilst blossoming with flower, leaf and fruit,
Initially this is poor compared with what is to come,
As the tree grows with each season and ring.

Are we not the same?

Consider also the tree whose leaf, blossom and fruit -
Its visible signs of progress -
Show poorly against it's neighbours. Its peers.
Is that not a consequence of a poor root system?


How will we know without digging 
Deep into the root system of either -
Of tree, or of person?

More to the point, do anyone care?
Perhaps we should, otherwise, there lies the danger.

'There but for the grace of me do you live. Survive. Thrive.'
(Says the woodsman with his axe.)

'There but for the grace of me do you breathe. Grow. Exist.'
(Says the tree with its roots. Branches. Leaves. Flower. And Fruit.)


Most importantly its oxygen
Born of its passive soul.

Copyright John Morey 2022

Try: 'The Willow' -  and Britain's favourite - The Oak

The mystery and magic of woodland trees

For more poems and short stories...

An anthology of poems, short stories, memories and recollections of the author's earlier life in a typical English village - Blaby, Leicestershire.

'The Runaway' (previous page) is just one of those featured in READ MY SHORTS.

Other poems and short stories cover a mixture of topics, including The Coal-miner's Son, a tale set in a mining  town in Kentucky, similar to the one in John Prine's 'Muhlenberg County'.

'Peregrine the Peregrine' is a true event, but where birds actually talk. It's a moral tale.

'Paul' and 'He turned out all right' are based on real people whose stories offer lessons to us all.

'The Leather Bottle' is a romance where strong emotions cut through even the most dense mists of dementia.

'Lifesaver' is two stories in one, featuring unsung heroes.

'Grandad' is proof  we are all a few steps away from someone famous - in this case General Custer!

'Air and Water' - a nod towards the Green Movement - without political interference!

To buy, or for a free excerpt, go to Amazon...

Poems and short stories by J S Morey
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