Poetry Drawer: The Mother Tree by Louise V. Brown

I heard it said trees can commune
in an electrochemical style. Their
fungal webs are like synapses
and neurons, life flashes through
this network deep in forest floors.

A bright white and yellow patchwork floor,
fingers of fungus that are filaments,
carbon, water and nutrient webs,
flowing with such fervour flashing
through underground rivers of love.

They are the Mother Trees who love
with their nurturing neurons
and mycelium strands of fungi.
They fan out on the forest floor,
with their fantastic filaments of food.

They feed the infant trees, with tree food
rushing through a galaxy of motherlove
down into the astonishing network
of a weft of fungal filaments,
reaching out beneath their feet.

No milky breasts, but spidery webs for feet,
nested deep in the forest bed soaked
in a nurturing fervour, and as they feed,
they make the branches of the infant
trees light up green, as spring shoots through.

When the Mother Tree dies through
the ravages of time her wandering fungal
webs dry up, they shrivel back, their filaments
empty, the infant trees mewl, like
abandoned babies, dying and starving.

I walk my dogs, they run sniffing the fields, starving
for more rich smells of the rain-fresh grass,
their yapping fervour fills the air, as they run
through the little wood, with its silent soft floor,
and I look for the oak tree with massive feet-like roots.

There, I see the oak tree now with its spiralling roots,
and I feel the joy. ‘Why’, I have often thought,’ it’s just a tree.’
Still, it is as though she speaks to me. Suddenly I know,
she is the Mother Tree. Her leaves rustle and whisper
as she bears witness to my pain in her silent majesty.

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