The Promise of Trees
by Lucy Berry
In flaming colour and umber murmur
of terracotta-rusted glamour
we speak our sunset-streaked vermilion valour
of wordless dying.
In city streets and ducal parkland,
on urban squares and heath and moor
we make again the promise which we pledged each year before:
that dying is…. nothing
This mere one fire failing, solely, one greenness-ailing
is the great-cycle, grand-sadness of one season’s farewell bidding
phoenix foliage ridding
our sturdy selves of another verdant year
the sloughing, shrugging, shedding of the necessary tear
this amber-plumed, ochre pyre
is heart to the promise we give;
that we die and are mourned and are lost.
But that next year we live.
That’s an interesting poem. Who is Lucy Berry?
She’s a poet and minister living in Plymouth, England. I Googled her and learned that she has a website on WordPress: http://lucyberry.com/
I found this poem by sheer happenstance while perusing a British photography site. Someone had just heard her read the poem on BBC Radio (where she was a poet-in-residence) and posted it.
The last two lines are so striking. Lovely.
And lovely photo. Of course.
I like “the sloughing, shrugging, shedding of the necessary tear” too.
Thanks for the link. The poem made me really curious and I will read others of her. An interesting woman.
You’re welcome. I too was intrigued after seeing this poem. You can also hear her read on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7–SF9IK-k