Landscape 13 Fagus Grandifolia

The forest appears tranquil.
A sunbeam through the pollen dust
The only straightness in this vegetable world.

Look longer at this peaceful scene,
A moment in the struggle for the light.
Slow, ceaseless, without feeling whatsoever,
A mortal photosynthetic dance,
Survival the prize.

A beech succors its root-born young
With sunlight from the high canopy.
The shadow of a beech leaf falls
Upon a stillborn acorn.
Fagus Grandifolia, the cancer of the woods.

From the rot of age, the bane of time, a great oak falls,
Light strikes the floor
To a hurrying explosion of green
And the long succession begins.

by Stewart McKenzie

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