PoetryProse and Poems

Four Pine Trees


They had a certain calmness

Those Scots pine trees

That stood together

On the edge of town


Four young saplings

standing strong

against the weather

And all its moods


Each year they survived

the four seasons

By standing together

Never falling down


Violent storms and heavy beatings

Bitter rain and Autumn winds

Leathered against their bark

But strong they stood


Not rigid, never pushing back

But bending with the blows

Swaying from side to side

They held their dignity


They grew stronger every year

Supported by the joys of nature

The trickling stream, the rising sun

Every happy creature


With Mother Earth, they stood proud

Their beauty plain to see

But man came beneath a cloud

and cut them down


No one heard their screams

As they dragged them into town

Four young trees

Slaughtered in their prime


They stripped them bare

Fed them through a snedder

Severed their young limbs

Leaving just their stems


They stood them up against the wall

Those four young trees.

Naked wood for all to see

Stripped of their dignity


They tagged a price upon their heads

And put them up for sale

Once proud young saplings,

Now commodities


The local High School purchased three

My brothers gone, left only me

Alone I stood

My dreams and me


Chain saws cut my brothers up

Young boys with knives and chisels

gouged out their wooden hearts

In the local woodwork class


They roughed them out, against the grain

Chipped away their soul

Beat them up with mallets

And shaved them into shape


Young hands carved them

Planed them, veined them, stained them

Into ornamental carps

Wooden fish that would not swim


Three fish in a school

Their fates would ever be

To adorn their creators’ mantlepieces

But never go to sea


But Saint Wolfgang had a different plan for me

Separated from my family

A boat-builder bought me whole

And saved me from that school


With the skilled hands of an artisan

And love and care, he crafted me

Into a model fishing boat

And launched me out to sea


I bobbed upon the ebbing tide

As the current took me from the shore

A solitary sailing vessel

Carrying the dreams of four


© Ian Goudie 2020



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