When the Great Tree Fell

Here is a draft poem inspired
by this photograph taken by Helen Pugh.

Fallen Tree

Worm Head

When the great tree fell
it ripped an island from the earth
in a fist of roots, left a deep wound
walled and dashed with flint,
soil pocked by the exposed heads of worms
who would have been in shock
if they could conceive of the storm that led
to this; a night of sway and bend
when branches flailed and cracked, the crown rolled
and the old oak groaned in maddened wind,
until a knockout punch flung the tree
to ground,  flesh still wet
where limbs had split
from moss-clad gnarled and silver bark.
That was the week of your death
when I wore my own worms head.



  1. Wonderful! The version that came to my email box must have been an earlier draft as when I clicked to come here and comment the poem had changed a little – tighter and more powerful I think, with a stronger rhythm culminating in that “knockout punch”. But I think I prefer the previous ending a little more -“That was the week of your death/when I wore my own worms head.” – in fact I headed over here to comment how striking I found that ending! For me it just felt more organically linked to the rest of the poem. I hope you don’t mind me saying so. 🙂 Either way, a great poem, I really enjoyed it.


    • Thank you Michele! Far from minding your comment, I’m really interested to haveyour feedback. Sometimes I write a poem and post it, even making changes as I’m putting it up (which is why 6 or 7 notifications might come in over 15 minuets. I’ll certainly have another look at the ending, thanks again Roy


  2. Aha, a work in progress! I find that hitting the ‘publish’ button in WordPress is a great way to clarify what I really want to say, and often use it as a tool to push myself along and finalise a poem. I’ll keep my eye on this one then, Take care.


  3. Really like this. The imagery and use of language is solid and compact, somehow reflecting the essence of the tree. I love this line:
    ‘walled and dashed with flint,
    soil pocked by the exposed heads of worms’
    It is very visual an earthy.
    Also liked this:
    ‘flesh still wet
    where limbs had split
    from moss-clad gnarled and silver bark’
    Makes you realize that the tree is still something alive.


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