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Mr. Lonely Pine


On our recent trip to Montana we saw nature at its fiercest; from fog to blizzards, rain and snow, to evidence of raging wildfires.

This region of eastern Washington is normally fairly dry, but a recent fire made it even drier. It may have been last year or longer ago that the fire went through here because the grass has had a chance to grow back.

A lucky few trees were left untouched by the fire. The rest were probably torches until their fuel burnt out.

Here is Mr. Lonely Pine, wondering where his friends have gone. Why, and how, was he spared?

What will happen to these acres of charred logs? It must take many years for them to fulfil the “ashes to ashes” ritual.

And someday the forest will regenerate and once again host insects, rodents, birds, reptiles, and small mammals (and a few big ones like these cattle).

But see how dry and long the grass is. The highway passes close by here. Be aware if you’re a smoker, and don’t toss out your cigarette butt, no matter how sure you are that it’s out.


They’ve named me Mr. Lonely Pine

And they are not so wrong,

I pine away and sometimes whine

If wind blows all day long.


I’m one of few surviving trees

Untouched by raging fire,

You should have seen it when the breeze

Whipped flames up even higher.


I stood in terror, trembling,

Of course I could not run,

So I began dissembling,

And twiddling my thumbs.


I squeezed my eyes shut, every branch

Was shivering in fright,

Next thing I knew, upon the ranch

The blaze burnt out that night.


And still alive I praised the gods

That spared me yet a while,

I wondered how I’d beat the odds,

I couldn’t help but smile.


I whispered like a pine must do

To coax the baby trees,

And soon they sprouted and they grew,

And now they’ve reached my knees.


I’m not so lonely anymore

These young ones chat with me,

And contrary to old folklore,

I talk, though I’m a tree.


I want to warn you if you drive,

A cigarette can kill,

To throw it out while it’s alive

Can burn the whole dang hill.


So let’s all take a bit of care

Bad endings you have seen,

If you are handling fire, beware

To keep our forests green.


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

14 thoughts on “Mr. Lonely Pine

  1. These fires are so terrible. They are the worst part of global warming so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In this area, only the animals need to have been terrified, but when they are near residential areas, I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety these fires cause – not to mention life-changing results if homes or lives are lost.


  3. Your contribution is thought provoking. Also in Central Europe the last summers were so dry that many trees simply died of thirst. Yes, this is climate change and the resulting problems will soon catch up us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful, terrifying nature 🙂 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • In many ways, we admire nature and are awed by its power. Take water, for example. So beautiful to swim in and dabble in, and yet the weight and power of a giant wave or a bursting dam are mind-boggling.


  5. Nothing looks more sad than a burned down forest. All is so dead afterwards.
    I like your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fire is so devastating. Takes years and years for nature (and humans) to recover.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A sad but meaningful post, Anneli. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a frightening thing to imagine fires like this, sometimes near people’s homes, and always wiping out animals’ homes.


  9. Tragedy …

    Liked by 1 person

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