The light darted sharply through the dark cloud horizon,

Every ray fighting viciously to emerge.

Resting softly upon the long dried branches,

Revealing the bark as bare and broken.


Waves of ocean spray clashed against the rock strewn cliff,

Misting the lone husk planted.

What a dark and lonesome scene to behold,

A single great sequoia.


There was a time when that tree was grand,

Taller, stronger and prouder than any known to man.

Triumphantly it stood and dared the storm to near,

Every bird in it seeking shelter.


He laughed at the wind,

Though it blew with all its might.

His deep roots choked the earth,

Until the cliff split with fright.


Every other tree beheld him with wonder,

They bowed their branches,

And they whispered–

“There is none more mighty than our brother.”


Where once they spoke in hushed tones,

The forest sings now in open concert–

“Hah, look what has become of Sequoia,

His branch and trunk have withered!”


It wasn’t the axe,

Nor the strength of the wind,

Nay, not even the heat of day—

No, it was much more subtle than that.


A dove, by chance, she nested,

One so sweet and tender.

A small beetle, her intended meal she did drop,

Surely not on purpose.


It wasn’t long until it burrowed deep within,

Devouring first the heart of Sequoia.

At this every other tree fled,

Until there was only Sequoia.


“There he stands,” they said–

What boughs so withered;

Send him to the fire!”

For the forest grew on without Sequoia.


It was there that the light did hit,

One single beam through the thick.

Only to expose a slim green shoot of life–

One single ray of hope.


And in that desiccated bough grew Sequoia–

Every gnarl the harder.

Yet, he did not laugh at the storm;

Nor did he mock the wind.


No, Sequoia only humbly thanked the Creator.


© 2014. Matthew Camphuis, all rights reserved.

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