Our local poetry group, 'Guernsey Poets', has an open mic evening once a month. This evening's event was themed 'Trees'. Initially I thought about writing a poem on the beauty of trees or the horrific impact of deforestation or even the importance of trees as the lungs of the Earth but as I was putting pen to paper a vivid memory of a particular tree came to mind.
As a young Captain I was lucky enough to serve in Belize (Central America). I spent some time working in the Jungle near the Guatemalan border. It was here that I first met a tree, known colloquially as the Bastard Tree. The following poem explains all;
The Bastard Tree
‘The path knows to avoid me
It skirts my trunk as if to flee.
Its muddy course bending round
my fallen leaves upon the ground.
The steep slopes I enjoy the most
as better vistas they do boast.
It’s here I get a chance to play
a little game upon my prey.
My trunks a mass of needled spikes
A bit like ancient soldiers pikes.
I’ll catch anyone who deigns to touch
and they won’t like it very much.
Here he comes; his feet are slipping
my unseen roots prepare to trip him.
He reaches out to stop the fall
And that is when I hear him call.’
‘Yep that’s me….’
John Carré Buchanan
18 May 2011