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Tom's last poem

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I’m sheltering in the hole made by a tree 
which must have been knocked down sometime today. 
Its torn-up roots are angled over me, 
keeping off the force-ten gale’s melee. 
It’s sixteen weeks now since my gruesome sighting 
-a de-horned unicorn with pecked-out eyes 
beside a road. The poems I was writing 
I printed off and posted for a prize, 
and now I rove and doss down in the dark 
beneath the stars. Tonight the wind’s turned frisky 
so I use this refuge in a Country Park 
which suits me fine, though some would think it risky 
-the trunk’s near-horizontal but the crown
is rocking up-and-down-and-up-and-down. 

But ask yourself now: which one is the bummer? 
-a thoughtful man who’s living as a tramp, 
or one that has the air-con on all summer 
then radiators blazing at the damp, 
or drives a massive car at great velocity 
making pointless journeys to and fro? 
-these storms that pound with gathering ferocity 
are stoked by fossil fuels, as we know. 
Since no-one shows concern for future pain 
I’ll do as they do: risk this gnarled and sinewed 
oak tree rocking upright once again. 
My chances match the odds for the continued
survival of our power hungry towns: 
rocking up-and-down-and-up-and-down.

I bowed to Arno’s view when I learned even 
magic unicorns could not be saved. 
I’ll live for here-and-now while I’m still breathing 
-this hole may be my haven or my grave. 
The roots are rocking closer to my head 
but all I think’s how fitting it would be 
for one who’s just as happy live or dead 
if I became nutrition for a tree. 
My words may fail but Hey!... my body could be 
a battery for the planet’s power grid, 
energising life into this good tree. 
This slab of soil would be my coffin lid. 
This mat of roots could be my burial gown. 
It’s rocking up-and-

◄ Rhino swansong

Lagoons of sadness ►


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Tim Ellis

Thu 17th Dec 2015 20:47

Thanks Ravi and Harry. This poem is a part of the story in my book "On The Verge" as well as one of the poems in the recent pamphlet "Speak The Unspeakable", and it makes rather more sense if read in context.

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Harry O'Neill

Wed 16th Dec 2015 22:31

I so often read a poem on here and admire the theme but have doubts about the execution, that to feel the opposite is a strange feeling.

While agreeing that we should use reasonable resources to ensure we leave the world a better place for those coming after, I balk at a human dying for an arboreal. (even in such excellent rhymed and rhythmic verse)

I look forward to one day hearing that you`ve been crowned as the worlds foremost vegetative laureate.

Keep smiling :)

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Ravi Tanna

Wed 16th Dec 2015 13:19

Its really really is so lucid ,that one can visualize the scenario..

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