Requiem for a Tree

At a time when we need to be planting trees not cutting them down, we did hesitate for quite a while before taking down the cypress  – hoping  that it might somehow recover. However it became obvious that it wouldn’t and we were afraid that the blight might spread to the others.


I’ve written about three or four versions of this poem but one will suffice for the blog! Sometimes we see trees that have had all their life drained away by a stranglehold of ivy – but not this one.

Ivy was Innocent This Time

Flanked by healthier specimens this evergreen

stood tall, erect, except it wasn’t green.

The only green to be seen was a cloak of ivy

wrapped tightly round the trunk.


A thick layer of russet needles covered

earth around the tree, they crunched

under our feet. Whereas once long

green plumes had flexed in wind,

now branches snapped like pretzels.


The great god blight transformed

this cypress from a lesser green goddess.

A metamorphosis not inflicted by Medusa,

but death’s rigor mortis. Surgery post-mortem

started – secateurs, loppers, log saw.


The russet carpet was swept up, bagged;

amputated, the goddess now lies in state, cloaked in ivy.