The Upside-down Tree

a thousand-years-old and feeling its age.

Baobab is at the end of its tether;
a thousand-years-old and feeling its age,
exposed to all kinds of weather,
used, abused and taken for granted.

It has kept baboons and warthogs
well fed with its succulent pods
and its hollowed interiors provided homes
to countless reptiles, insects, bats and frogs.

In its huge branches weavers built a nest
and in its cavities barn owls roosted.
It is no wonder that the baobab believed
that, of all trees, it was the best.

Proud to be called “the tree of life”,
it once stood upright and erect,
boasting of its own superiority
and claiming to be uniquely perfect.

The gods soon heard of this insolence
that upset the arboreal community
and decided to punish such arrogance
by uprooting the monkey-bread tree.
Then they replanted it upside down;
a move that the plant didn’t expect.
Now it complains to all and sundry
of vilification and lack of respect.

© Luigi Pagano 2019

© ionicus 2023
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Is this based on lore, Luigi? I really like the descriptive and gothic feel of it. I’d be interested in the inspiration behind it.



What I like about reading your poems, dear Luigi, is that they have life in them, a story, an anecdote or a detail which one tends to neglect. This poem narrating the story of Baobab tree (never known or seen one before) is quite an enchanting read. Thank you for sharing along with the pic!
Warm Regards, Gomathi.

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