The Last Ent Goes West
A traveller, weary and sad, stayed to rest
Under the summer moon. Days dreamed by,
Lulled by birdsong and quiet winds.
Long years passed. The garden, once lovely
With ordered borders and sweeping lawns,
Now became a tangle of blackberry canes
And bamboo escaped from its planter.
There was a pond, and there were fish,
Golden Koi darting in the murky waters,
Rising with the sun, sinking with the dark.
The Rowan stood, green and slender,
Scarlet berries hung like jewels in the leaves.
Winter upon winter, spring upon spring,
The autumn gales and the summer’s baking heat,
Swept over the Rowan, drowsing years away.
Beyond the fence the world was changing.
Black times came; the wind bore sounds of war.
Where soft feet once stepped, iron-shod wheels
Clattered. Where voices raised in praise of stars
Once sang, now walls of brick shut out the light.
The moon seemed always pale and thin,
His silver face was never seen, but only glimpsed
Between the tattered storm strewn clouds.
Still stood the Rowan, all asleep. Day and night
And night and day, flickering like shadows
Swiftly shimmering and fading. Swirling down
Fell the leaves in the long slow seasons’ turn.
The world beyond the garden walls grew still,
The sun shone colder, less of gold now fell
Upon the silvered grass. Silence rang
Like unheard bells. The Rowan stirred.
The breeze sighed. Far off, something spoke,
And the Rowan stepped from the garden.
Upon the cobbled road he stood and faced the West.
There sank the dying sun in scarlet splendour,
There foaming waves fell upon the sea-wet sand.
The Rowan waited. Had he not slept, waiting,
While the earth rolled from his time till now?
They did not come. Slow the tears fell
From his shadowed eyes, and his heart ached.
He cried out, singing their secret names,
And waited yet again. At last, the moon rose,
Full silver now, yet faded from what once had been.
The Rowan walked Westward. As he walked
He looked from here to there, from side to side,
But saw only dark and empty fields. No voices
Answered his, no living thing moved in the night.
He came to the Sea, and the moonpath lay before him.
One last look to the past; the road behind was empty.
The seawater was cool as he stepped in,
And it seemed he heard a song from the stars.
He lifted his face to the sky, and journeyed on.