Old Father Pine

by Gwen Stokes

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Old Father Pine

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Indomitable trunk, your bark-free patches silvered

With age, cones now spent. Yet still, your full head

Green starbursts of vibrant needles.

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Rooted in time and space, enduring sentinel of glade and glen

Your sheltering arms a welcome haven

For nature’s exuberance; youth at your feet.

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Pinus sylvestris, you stoic Scot,

Caledonian ice age descendant;

Majestic against nature’s whims

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Howling winds

Around your ears, tearing at

Your weathered limbs

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Lashing you with her

Dark stormy moods, leaving

Tears on your needles

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Embracing you

Her warm smile colours up

Your russet and green

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Dusting you in a cap of white

Her weighty mass glints

Before sliding to your feet.

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Bathing you in sap-stirring light

Or rejuvenating darkness

Bringer of hope.

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Deep inside

Your code of life; re-written over millennia;

Programmes your survival against evolving dangers.

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I know I am

Safe, in the arms

Of Old Father Pine.

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(c) Gwen Stokes 2021

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