Friday, 30 September 2011

Rising to the Challenge

Mark Snow pulled up in his van
alongside a very old beech tree.
The county said it had to come down
and he’s a carpenter, you see.
The tree was troubling a boundary wall,
for a hundred years it had stood there
and Mark was eying up the wood,
thinking how beautiful, thinking how rare.

Before they knew it he’d shimmied up
and tied himself to its branches.
Three days later he hadn’t come down -
somehow he fancied his chances
of saving the tree from the chainsaw blade,
a spur of the moment decision,
armed with no more than a woolly hat
and a can to store his fluids in.

Villagers plied him with fish and chips,
sandwiches and cups of tea.
People drove past and honked their horns -
they said he was just like Swampy.
But Mr Snow (Snoz to his friends)
said, “I am not a crusty.
I’m a reluctant activist,
I don’t want people to recognise me.

I’ll stay up here as long as it takes
and then I’ll shave my beard off.
I’m normally tidy and smartly dressed,
I don’t make a habit of looking a scruff.”
He rose to the challenge, an ordinary chap,
and this is what impressed me.
He’s not like Swampy; I’m not like Snoz -
My way is writing poetry.

© Heather Wastie

Barking mad? Not me, says the arboreal answer to Swampy
Heather Wastie is a wordsmith, humorist and musician with a rich professional life as poet, composer, singer, songwriter, keyboard player and facilitator.  Find out more at Heather's website.