Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Garden Tree

The tree I planted years ago
Now measures thirty feet or so.
The trunk is long and smooth and tall
And far outstrips the garden wall.
And on the very top, the fronds
Shade several neighbours’ garden ponds.

Drunk one evening for a lark,
I started writing on the bark.
In felt tip pen I wrote a tale
To make the staunchest reader quail.
From bottom up and round and round,
The story started at the ground,
Then wound itself in spiralled glee
Toward the summit of the tree.

But now this little prank’s backfired,
The writing has been much admired,
And now, to my complete alarm,
Old women come to read my palm.


Away from repression, the wild geese did fly,
Determined expression etched in ev’ry eye.
They sailed from old Ireland to France and to Spain,
Never to see their cruel homeland again.

And then ‘twas the famine drove millions away.
The peasants left, damnin’ the fields of decay
They sailed from old Ireland across the wide main,
Never to see their sad homeland again.

To earn half a living, the migrant set sail,
A land unforgiving set him on the trail.
They sailed from old Ireland to England’s great gain,
Never to see their poor homeland again.

And now ‘tis the weather, the sign of the times.
We’re leaving together for sunnier climes.
We’re flying from old Ireland, away from the rain,
Never to see our cold homeland again.