Martin Chambers

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song of the redwood tree

Some might say the redwood tree is silent for its thousand year youth,
Or that it has seen so much that there is no more to say.

But listen, and you will hear, early, the soft sigh of seed fallen on snow,
Grains of soil murmuring as roots feel their way,
Or the unfolded paper rustling of bright new leaves.
In storms, the whispering sway of wind as it curves by the giant,
And if two trees touch, you will hear
The tip tap wooden caress of nearby limbs.

After a millennia it has more to say and could go on singing,
The ballard of the forest from one old tree’s ancient point of view.

And so it is that true silence comes with the sharp fall of axe,
Or there, hiding between the creak and cry of timber men,
Silence in the gaps left by the buzz of saws and the rattle of trucks.
So fatal is this space between noise that workers hide their fear,
Sheltering behind an empty wall of loud radio FM,
Bravely playing pop songs of the moment.