Read Poem: The old man and the tree, by Andrew Smith

He sat in the shade of an old oak tree,
Rembering day’s gone by,
Those adolescent, vibrant years,
When he had felt alive,
But the sands of time have fallen,
The winds of age have left their mark,
Now his skin is brown and wrinkled,
Like the trunk of this old oaks bark.

Across the field are families,
Children running here and there,
Shrieks of laughter as they play,
Games of Tag or maybe dare,
Images of his childhood,
Suddenly spring to mind,
His mum and dad and siblings,
Who now dwell in the annals of time.

The world has changed around him,
Piece by tiny piece,
And no one saw it coming,
So softly does progress creep,
And as he gazes upon the young ones,
A question invades his head,
What sort of world will they live in,
When he, himself, is dead.

He grew up in the days of innocence,
A generation lost in the race,
Of inventing, building, destroying,
To advance the human race,
His generation had achieved so much,
But they never did understand,
That the consequences of what they did,
Could see the end of the reign of man.

Now he sits beneath this old oak tree,
That’s stood for eight hundred years,
And wonders just how long it’ll be there,
Before that too, disappears,
Cut down to make a table,
Or into toys with which children will play,
Or more than likely just destroyed,
Because it’s simply in the way.

His gaze returns to the families,
How happy they all seem,
Enjoying each others company,
With a picnic on the green,
He smiles but can’t help feeling sorry,
For these children may not grow old,
Because their world is rapidly changing,
And the winds of change blow cold.

The families now are packing up,
For It’s time they headed home,
The park, deserted and silent,
Except for one old man on his own,
As the sun deserts the heavens,
He sees the mess the families leave,
And he sighs for nothing changes,
For the parents are too blind to see.

There’s plastic cups and drink cans,
Scattered across the grass,
There’s paper and bread from sandwiches,
There’s even a broken glass,
The children learn from their parents,
So what hope is for mankind,
And the children will grow in their shadow,
Not giving a damn in their mind.

The moonbeams filter through the leaves,
For darkness now has come,
And the lonely old man by the old oak tree,
Walks off but he wants to run,
Run away so fast from the human race,
Which he will when it’s his time,
And the old oak tree that sheltered him,
Could be the last of its kind.

What am I trying to tell you,
In the words that you’ve just read,
Is I guess that change is coming,
And we need to get our heads,
Out of the sand that we’ve put them in,
Try and halt this sad decline,
Because like the old man and the old oak tree,
We’re running out of time.

Andrew Smith

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About poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.
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