Rows of ghost trees loom along my path.
Winds now parch these echoing columns,
battered survivors of earth’s deluge.
These storm-hollowed husks huddle
as Helios hurls dehydrating rays from above.
Back bay surges of unstoppable tides
with choking foul breakwater stench
have covered these arboreal lives.
Once fruitful green, now forsaken wood,
their lofty bowers wince, stripped of life.
They weep dry tears, decomposing drops
falling ashen gray …after the storm.
These pallid stumps will outlast me…
standing defiant, fixed, persistent-
preserving their sylvan history.
Soulless timber echoing, echoing…
the sounds of their sunken wounds…
decaying cores moaning from tidal toxicity
as storm-shattered limbs ooze lost nutrients.
Lamenting their lot, cursing Poseidon
ghostly rustlings disguise imaginary shimmers
welcoming lonely sparrows to nestle
on quiet skeletal branches that remain.
Withering cores postpone future growth
as time chisels away at frayed, tangled roots
barely sustaining their muddied existence.
Nature’s moods can be cruel.
– Colleen Boueil