Beetles on the Ark
The hundred trees in the old park
are like the creatures on an ark
or like a village closely knit,
rejoicing when the sun is lit,
relaxing when the world grows dark;
each tree another steady ark
that carries squirrels, crows and jays
and worms and beetles through the days.
A myriad leaves, and each a spark
of life on board the floating park!
Christina Egan © 2016
(Lordship Lane Recreation Ground, Tottenham)
There is the snow – thick flakes, and falling fast –
there is the snow, thick on the grass at last!
The fabric of the twigs turns black and white,
the ground reflects the veiled and waning light.
The air is pure, the field without a trace,
the urban copse becomes a sacred space:
as if true peace, true life indeed were near,
as if tranquillity and joy were here.
Christina Egan © 2017
I read these poems at an event celebrating trees at Bruce Castle in December 2017. It was organised by Tottenham Trees, who campaign to ‘Plant for the Planet’ and have put up lovely photo galleries on their website.
Read the poems aloud to enjoy the sounds of the words, which emulate the fabric of the twigs and the whole web of Nature… and weave a spell, like poetry and song have done since there have been humans on earth.
The second poem can also serve as a pagan, secular, or interfaith Christmas poem. The wanderer encounters that peace and joy which only Heaven can give in Nature.
Photographs: Christina Egan © 2017. The trees in Tottenham Cemetery and Bruce Castle Park which inspired the first poem! You can see Bruce Castle behind the old oak — four or five hundred years old — in the second picture.