Trees in Pied Piper garb

2016-05-18 06:00
PHOTO: bryan paul The liquid amber trees along High Street.

PHOTO: bryan paul The liquid amber trees along High Street.

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FEATURING a spectrum of autumnal colours­ this avenue of liquid amber trees in High Street provides an eye-catching sight at this time of the year. The photograph was taken by Bryan Paul on a sunny morning last week. The avenue was planted by Mike and Trish Barrow in 1989.

The poem, written by Greytown’s poet laureate, the late Sean O’Kelly, has an interesting background. It appeared in the annual financial report of a company named Bruynzeel Plywoods (a large timber growing and processing company) in the seventies and was said to be the first time a poem had been specifically written for such use for a company quoted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“Trees in Pied Piper garb

Of reds and golds

Lead children's hearts a-dancing

Through the short'ning days.

And, in sad Autumn's hazy mornings,

Weep their proud leaves

- Or flight them on the wind -

In timeless ritual.

Trees, stronger than Winter,

Challenge his frost-mailed fist.

They hoard their precious saps

Deep in some hidden heart

And patiently await

The splendid Spring's return

To make each one, again,

A bird-filled paradise.

Trees, with green alchemy,

Change Summer's sunny haze

To cooling pools of shade.

Richly they gleam and glow

Until, pregnant with treasure,

They gladly yield

The thousand things men need

... That only trees can give.

Trees on a koppie's crest,

Or reaching up from valley's depth,

Or ranged like guardsmen on the open veld,

Or mirrored by a silvered tranquil lake

Are growing monuments to growth

... And living symbols of a nation's strength.”

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