Solo survival strength

You think you’re alone
Cut off; shut in
Shunned by the world and
Separated by lockdown.


But look at your self
Look closely now
Search inside your mind.


There are intricate memories
Pictures of
Places been
Things seen.
Moments of
Complex relationships
Conversations had
Discussions
You
Could have had
Might have had
Maybe will have
And they can all be worked out
Listened to
Responded to
By your alter ego.


We are never only one.
How many names do you have?
All them you!

You are not alone.


And if you have a God
You also know He is there
Listening to you
Feeling your pain
Supporting you
And lying beside you in the darkest night
Holding you in your dreariest hour.

Never despair.
We are all more than one;
Always with you.
Strong.

This poem was inspired by looking at my photograph of this Echinacea. I zoomed in and found so many different levels and intricacies and I thought that within any structure in nature there is so much more, especially in the human mind – so many of us in one. Always more than one.

Photo and poem copyright Englepip©

The Hole in the Wall

Tied
As if by a chain to the hole in the wall,
Which sends out a magic juice;
Life-giving oxygen that breathes
Slow breaths
Into me.
In
Out
Cough
Shaking all about.
Life-giving essence;
Keeping me alive.
It would only take a careless welding of
A Nightingale pipe
Put together at speed,
For a burst; a suffocation;
Murder of my COVID fuddled brain.
Count-down from 10 to zero
Lockdown;
Shutdown
And life would cease.
Another member of the herd
Obliterated.
But this tube
Although imprisonment
Gives life;
Precarious as it may be
It is a chance
To recover to
A future of what?
God alone knows.

But there’s life in the
Old girl yet!

Silence

Deep silence

Frozen in the branches

Biting into the night

Exacerbating the solitude

That comes with lockdown.

Borne on an ill wind of

Punishment

For what?

For existing?

It enters your consciousness

Like a vacuum

Sucking out the senses

Suffocating normal existence.

It’s only when you listen to the silence

That you wonder

At the malicious nature

Of a virus

That cancels a whole world

Overnight.

Lichen

Satellite dishes; fairy proportions
Growing in bunches just like mistletoe.

Spreading on branches; shapes ever changing
Fruticose beings of many a hue.

Mutualistic or parasitic;
Not plant; not fungus; a freak of the world
An ancient species long lived and thriving?
Better than humans pollution they’ll find.
Found in abundance, throughout all the world
On branch; on stone; on building or playground

Alien species? Where did they come from?
Keeping their watch from wherever they sit.
Brooding; plotting to take over our world?
Look out behind then; they’re growing near you.

Poem and photo by Englepip© copyright

Lichen are some of the strangest growing things in the world. The oldest in the Arctic is said to be about 8600 years old, the world’s oldest organism, and they probably grow only 1mm a year, depending where they are. They come in many different shapes and forms and even change their shapes and colours as they grow. The more I read about them, the more ubiquitous I realised they were and I began to imagine them lurking and waiting to take their turn in taking over the world! Terrifying.

The following words about lichens are from Wikipedia. “Many lichens are very sensitive to environmental disturbances and can be used to cheaply[8] assess air pollution,[47][48][49] ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have been used in making dyesperfumes,[50] and in traditional medicines. A few lichen species are eaten by insects[8] or larger animals, such as reindeer.[51] Lichens are widely used as environmental indicators or bio-indicators. If air is very badly polluted with sulphur dioxide there may be no lichens present, just green algae may be found. If the air is clean, shrubby, hairy and leafy lichens become abundant. A few lichen species can tolerate quite high levels of pollution and are commonly found on pavements, walls and tree bark in urban areas. The most sensitive lichens are shrubby and leafy while the most tolerant lichens are all crusty in appearance. Since industrialisation many of the shrubby and leafy lichens such as RamalinaUsnea and Lobaria species have very limited ranges, often being confined to the parts with the purest air.”

Such an interesting organism.

The Yew

Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may now be known as common yew, English yew, or European yew.’ Wikipedia

Needles of toxicity
Hardened death bringer
But Celtic resurrector.

There are many myths surrounding the Yew tree. It is one of the most lon lived trees around and its wood is very dense and therefore good for things like furniture making. Yet every part except the fleshy part of the fruit is toxic to humans (although you would have to eat over 50 – 100 grams!). Some animals do not seem to get poisoned by eating yew.

There was tree in the graveyard at Selborne, Hampshire UK, which was reputedly about 1400 years old. Its girth was 26 feet. Unfortunately it fell in a gale in 1990 and did not recover.

The trees are evergreen although the needles do fall at times of the year. There are male and female trees and in the early Spring the male ‘flower’ send out clouds of pollen. The berries are not real berries but form small red fleshy blobs on the female trees.

Celtic mythology links the tree to both death and resurrection. This idea builds on the ancient Norse tradition of Yggdrasil, which in turn links back to the ancient world-wide stories of the Tree of Life or Tree of Knowledge.

References: https://www.ancient-yew.org/s.php/frequently-asked-questions/2/2 : https://www.hampshire-history.com/the-great-yew-of-selborne/:https://www.backyardnature.net/yew.htm

The Glory of Autumn

River in shadow, twisting through banks ablaze
With the russets and reds, ambers and apricots
Wealth of nature, invested in gold,
Dropping to earth.

Autumn light and low sun reflecting in water
A landscape of stillness and quiet moments before
Winter storms and cold freezing skies strip
The branches bare.

Creation in temperate lands at its
Most magical,
Most colourful,
Most glowing
In glory at its death.

Poem and photo copyright Englepip©