by Gwen Stokes
Old Father Pine
Indomitable trunk, your bark-free patches silvered
With age, cones now spent. Yet still, your full head
Green starbursts of vibrant needles.
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.
Pinus sylvestris, you stoic Scot,
Caledonian ice age descendant;
Majestic against nature’s whims
Around your ears, tearing at
Your weathered limbs
Lashing you with her
Dark stormy moods, leaving
Tears on your needles
Her warm smile colours up
Your russet and green
Dusting you in a cap of white
Her weighty mass glints
Before sliding to your feet.
Bathing you in sap-stirring light
Or rejuvenating darkness
Bringer of hope.
Your code of life; re-written over millennia;
Programmes your survival against evolving dangers.
I know I am
Safe, in the arms
Of Old Father Pine.
(c) Gwen Stokes 2021