image source: pixabay.com

Tree

for Ikeogu Oke

Although they spread deep and wide
from before measured history,
these ancient anchoring roots
are still the one great tree.

Although it towers, twists and turns,
is marked and scarred for all to see,
this changing, gnarled and mottled trunk
is still the one great tree.

Although some bend to touch the earth
whilst others soar in elegant beauty,
this vast spreading tangle of branches
is still the one great tree.

Although they blossom, bloom and droop
in cyclical, never-ending creativity,
these flowers, fruit and seed
are still the one great tree.

So too we who dream and love,
who share the common bond of humanity,
who have hearts, minds, hands and voice
are still the one great tree.

Some branches may be full of thorns
but others grow in truth and poetry.
They raise their voice to sing
that we are all part of the one great tree

and in singing, rejoice,
in pureness of heart and simplicity,
across the deserts and mountains of this earth
that we are all part of the one great tree.


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work is strongly centred on social justice, the environment and relationships. One of the joys and privileges of his life was his friendship with the great Nigerian poet, Ikeogu Oke, who died, far too young, in 2018. In 2015, Neil wrote “Tree” and shared it with Ikeogu as a celebration of their friendship. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

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