Saturday, 12 January 2013
Who rocked so gently in my arms
And laughed at my stupidities.
You grew, my lovely one
To challenge all my world and
No longer listen to my endlessness.
And so you left, my worldly one,
Fearless of machete, rape and AIDS
Sowing knowledge, giving life and hope and praise
To keep you safe, secure and loved in
My conventional worldly ways.
I dreamt your life, my golden girl
But they were my presumptions
A father’s selfishness transposed
Seduced by her wilderness
And her obsidian mysteries.
You will not return.
So forgive me, my gentle grace,
For thine is Africa and free
Take care and sometimes think of me
I always will be there
For although the seas divide us
And time so quickly flies
We still can meet each other
In the dreamland of our minds;
And you’ll still mine, my little one
To rock so gently in my arms and
Laugh at my stupidities
Bryan D. Cook Ottawa, December 2012
Context for "The Ashes of March"
This poem is about the devastation to the ash trees of Ottawa caused by the accidental introduction of the Emerald Ash Borer...a beetle native to Asia which lays its grubs through pin holes it bores, to feed below the bark of ash trees. The only remedy is to stem the tide by cutting down the infected trees. The result has been the devastation of whole neighbourhoods where they were originally planted for their shade. The lesson learned too late is that monoculture bites back, although it gives the woodpeckers quite a feast albeit temporary!