fortress, tree house, throne
toe holder, ship’s mast
staircase to the heavens
galleon of the woods above
tentacle crawling roots below
battle scarred silver hide
xylem and phloem
carrying fingerprints
of centuries, absorbing
earth and air, detritus
one fleeting moment of many
flickering image—
ghost at the back of an eyelid—
the chestnut mare
scratching her rump
against a beech sapling
green with fast flowing growth
on a June evening
in a cloud of golden gnats
and her tail swishing
from side to side
the memory ingrained
in a low-slung limb
a moss saddled horse.



13 thoughts on “IMAGINE A TREE

  1. Murtagh's Meadow

    You have definitely caught the spirit of that tree great Melissa. What a pleasure to have share the moment.

  2. Curt Mekemson

    Climbing trees— one of the greatest adventures a child can have. I enjoyed the poem and can easily picture the chestnut mare scratching her behind. 🙂 –Curt

  3. Sunshine Jansen

    All the imaginings breathed in and out by a tree this old. And the “moss saddled horse” is just great. Odd as it sounds, I’ve got kind of a thing for moss, so this tree would enthrall me for hours…

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Thank you! The tree is pretty amazing. It’s got to be a couple of hundred years old, at least. Lots of history. The house, whose grounds it stands on, has an interesting history too. It was burnt down during the Irish Civil War.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Kinds words, thank you! I’ve you’re ever around Castlebar. it’s worth a visit. It stands on the grounds of old Moore Hall.


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