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My Tree

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This is based on a true story of an incident in Ipoh, Malaysia

MY TREE Beside the Kinta River still it stands Colossus of the primal forest panoply The tree a native of the fecund land It’s limbs support the graceful arcing canopy Each arm like a single tree of temperate terre Forming structure a living city in the air Great parasol once shaded tiger or Utan Orang On its branches, like trunks of full grown English Elm Live plethora of life, symbiosis copious and strong Through time unmeasured, primary jungle realm ‘Til alluvial soil that nourished the roots an age Disclosed treasure dark dust, bringing riches, turned history’s page Then it witnessed the coming of men to a village then town Final graceful colonial, blessed with streets neat and pretty The tree’s neighbours now rich tin exchanges and banks abound In the settlement that would be called Bougainvilea City But with passing of time, came decline in the source of its wealth As tin lost its lustre, the city it’s fresh bloom and health Years on - destination Old Town fateful morning bright ‘Kedai Copi ’ drew tastebuds to flavour rich and rare * We crossed over the bridge with the tree broad and clear in our sight Then a column of smoke rising in the still morning air Warned of something amiss that would threaten the life of our friend Well loved arbour at risk now of tragic and untimely end Looking down from the bridge we perceived the source of the threat Some miscreant unknown had lit fire hard against the tree’s heel With wish to remove for ‘improvement’ - an urban plan set? To replace it with a soulless new edifice, concrete and steel Or maybe with shear carelessness of it’s likely destruction Either way destined for removal - inconvenient obstruction? The solution was simple but needed immediate action On river bank an old pipe was my tool to rescind Fire that threatened the bark that moves sap with life giving traction To drag back the fire, smother flames yet devouring this skin Within minutes the threat to an age of abundant green life Was reprieved for a time before facing more challenge and strife Bearing scars, it still stands with the grace of a veteran patrician Looking on little changed while all round life is set to alter ‘til it once more needs care of a passing part time physician We call blessings that it and dependants go on without falter So when I, time to time, pass that way, I muse as I see With a warm self satisfied thought : ‘That’s my tree!’ * Kedai Copi = Coffee Shop (Malay - no Fs)

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 6/27/2019 12:01:00 PM
Came back to view the picture you have now added. Your great poem did indeed do justice to the majesty/ beauty of that massive tree, one of Nature's fine creations.
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Date: 6/27/2019 7:54:00 AM
Sending you a soup-mail my friend..
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Date: 6/27/2019 7:45:00 AM
Such magnificent verse about a heroic act deserves great accolades my friend. I did so truly enjoy reading this exceptional poem this morn. A fav... a true gem...
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Geoffrey Brewer
Date: 6/27/2019 9:47:00 AM
Thank you so much for this generous comment, Robert. By the way I have now attached the photo of the event described.
Date: 11/18/2018 1:03:00 PM
You have immortalized your friend with this poem that shows you have compassion for not only the tree but for the earth and wanting to save such things with worth. This is a wonderful poem Geoffrey! I commend your brave actions. xxoo ; )
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