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Marre’s musings

December 19, 2018 December 2019 No Comments


The leadup to Xmas inevitably results in people getting a tree. Nowadays, it’s an essential part of the festivities. This was not always so: in fact the tree originally was used to celebrate the winter solstice, so not appropriate here – although with our current inclement weather, we can’t be too sure. The selected trees were evergreen to remind one of Spring. Probably just as well: a conglomeration of bare branches arranged beside the fire wouldn’t have looked too flash and may have led to … well, you get the idea. 

Trees were probably first associated with Christmas about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Towns usually had just one put up in the square (maybe we could do that here) and after a bit of song and dance, the tree was set on fire (perhaps ignore that idea, after all!) Today there’s one in almost every home with a booming industry making this possible. Would you believe in the UK, there’s about ten million grown every year just for the occasion.

Although I don’t celebrate Xmas, I love trees. Especially living, growing ones, so it makes me a bit sad to see the inevitable tree ‘discard-fest’ in the New Year. Fortunately, there’s an increasing fashion to reduce the destruction; all good!   So to complete this month’s musings is a poem with a tree theme which I wrote recently. It’s reproduced below for you to share. 

Enjoy your celebrations and spare a thought for the trees.  


The tree stands tall and stately: steadfast.

Seeing: the sun rise, ascendings; and sundowns, setting. Living: through many seasons. 

Growing: year by year: years … and more. 

Observing: each day beginning, ending. The ones before, and before.

And today: the morning and then the day’s hours: following. 

Time advancing – into the future; hour by hour. Each arriving: one by one. 

And once passing, retreating: becoming hours passed; the past.

And then, now: this day: ending. The night approaching, descending. 

Slough of wind, moaning. Whispers of shivering leaves: sighing, rustling. 

Branches creak and scrape: grating. Dark clouds piling, billowing; masking the moon.

Suddenly: a storm. The fevered wind screaming. Lightning flashes; slicing the darkness. 

Blinding. Splitting, rending the sky. Thunder rolling, booming. 

Driving rain falling: deafening.

The tree’s top: swaying, leaning. 

Its branches: wing-folding, embracing the shivering birds, giving them shelter. 

At first: chattering, huddled, shuffling close. Afraid. 

Now secure: softly murmuring, settling.

Later: the tempest abating. Clouds disperse: dissolving. Thinning, retreating. 

Revealing the night’s soft gleam; its silence: serene and sombre, descending.

Always the tree watching: now seeing the high air, stars: glittering. 

The cut-out shining moon. Soft velvet sky.

Sensing: the scurries, scuttling of small beasts. Snuffling creatures scrabbling:

scattering the fallen leaves. Squeaking. The snorts of wild pigs: squealing. 

The stillness of gentle, listening deer: ears flickering. 

Standing: motionless; tense, watching. Then safe: resting.

In time: the black brooding night: ending. Its darkness fading. 

Soft scents of dawn, the sweet moss: dew-damp. 

Mist: smoky wreaths: swirling, filtering the cool, pale rising sun. Droplets: settling. 

Cobweb threads of bright pearls: glistening. Sparkling.

And so the new morning: awakening. 

The sun climbing now – high, and again: higher. 

The cold earth slowly warming, drying. Steam: rising. 

Small woodland flowers, petals: opening.

The sleeping birds, now stirring: chirping, gossiping. 

Fluffing downy feathers, preening. 

Then one by one: alighting. Flying: into the new-washed clean blue sky. 

Up; and up. Vanishing: away.

And still: the tree stands tall and stately: steadfast.

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