Once you were

Before the cyclone

you often greeted me at sunrise

and sunset

with branches outstretched to embrace

my camera

you went about your business

I came to know you well

You were a giving tree


feluga tree loses its branches

After the cyclone

your branches

were stripped until you were a skeleton

of what you once were

nearby your sister tree the more glorious of you two

was uprooted

and went back into the earth to be recycled

but still  you survived

you will grow again

where she cannot

and branch out and

greet her bird friends


I will no longer see you

at sunrise and sunset

because we’ve had to move.


We’ll not be so intimate

on the spur of the moment
looking for light

So many of your tree friends are gone

uprooted ancients

and yet you stand ready to give shelter

and beauty once more

when the word beauty could lose its meaning

you give it branches and send it out

up to

the skies

where we can still find beauty

as the sky still changes  to purple,

red, orange, pinks and blues.

Where we  can still find light

leading us to recovery.


(Extract ‘Once you Were’, poetry on recovery from natural disasters)

(c) all words and images June Perkins