A Tapestry of Life

Russ Fugal
3 min readMay 5, 2023

An entry to The Caterpillar Poetry Prize 2023, by Russ Fugal
inspired by

In days of old, where wild winds roamed, in lands of Western lore,
There thrived a forest vast and grand, with Rowan trees and more.
A tapestry of life entwined, each creature played its part,
A harmony, a symphony, that warmed the coldest heart.

Amidst the verdant canopy, where dappled sunlight danced,
The colors of the forest bloomed, as nature’s hues advanced.
The crimson berries, Rowan’s gems, adorned the branches high,
While emerald leaves, like whispers, swayed beneath the azure sky.

But change arrived, as change does come, with humans as its wake,
Their axes swung, their fires burned, the forest felt the quake.
Uprooted, scarred, the woods did cry, as trees and homes did fall,
Yet deep within the forest’s soul, a hope lived through it all.

The seeds of life, from roots and boughs, persisted through the years,
Embarked on life’s new journey, conquering doubts and fears.
Rowan seeds and others, too, embraced their fateful quest,
In dispersed lands, they sought to grow, determined and unblessed.

As saplings rose through stone and strife, their roots stretched far and wide,
With human hands, both kind and harsh, they existed, side by side.
The forest’s voice rang through the air, with laughter, joy, and tears,
In every bloom, in every leaf, the bond grew strong with years.

A young one, drawn to speckled shade, admired Rowan’s grace,
Embraced the role of steward, to protect this sacred place.
With love and care, this human soul sowed seeds upon the ground,
And nurtured life, so it could thrive, in harmony unbound.

Together, child and forest thrived, they claimed the land anew,
With Rowan trees and creatures wild, their bond and kinship grew.
As time went by, the woods did bloom a sea of endless green,
A tapestry of life revived, a sight once lost, now seen.

In shades of gold and amber, where sun would kiss the earth,
New saplings rose, and rivers flowed, proclaiming nature’s birth.
Through every season’s palette, the forest’s hues would blend,
A symphony of colors bright, a beauty without end.

With dance of life, both hand and wood — a thumb and bud entwined —
The saplings rose, the rivers flowed, a future redefined.
And thus were sung the songs anew, of Rowans standing tall,
A vision of a wilder world, a dreamer’s call for all.