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.
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.
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.
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 assess air pollution,ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have been used in making dyes, perfumes, and in traditional medicines. A few lichen species are eaten by insects or larger animals, such as reindeer. 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 Ramalina, Usnea and Lobaria species have very limited ranges, often being confined to the parts with the purest air.”
‘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.
When the winter sun lifts its head above the horizon For a brief few hours our hearts are lightened As we remember the warmth and buzz of summer. But for now, the land lies cold, hibernating Waiting for that angle of light that signals New beginnings – Spring.