Yesterday I visited a friend who lives on Protection Island, a tiny island across from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. She gave me a tour of the place and my camera was smoking with so many photo-worthy things to record.
One of the more fascinating things she showed me was a gateway made by a local resident. If she hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have noticed that unlike the tree on the left, the one on the right is not made of wood, but of metal. I thought it was very clever of the artist to anchor the metal tree so naturally on the rocks where it pretends to send roots into the ground. On closer inspection you might notice that the metal tree has leaves that tell me it might be representing an oak.
Ironically, I think the wooden tree has a metallic name. I believe it might be a copper beech.
P.S. (A few days later…) I’ve just had word from the owner that the tree on the left is in fact a Japanese plum, so the poem doesn’t quite fit, but I’ll leave it as it is. Call it poetic license.
The oak tree brags, “I guard the gate.”
He shocks the copper beech,
Who leans back, but defends himself,
“A lesson I must teach.”
“I’m tough and strong, of iron made,”
The great oak lets him know.
His metal clinks, he smirks and sneers,
“My strength withstands a blow.”
“But I will grow,” the beech tree smiles,
“And birds in me do trust,
While you will chill their little feet
before you turn to rust.”