Autumn in Uibh Laoire


Fall gently friend

From the branch; where, all Winter,

You’ve lived heavily budded.

Just visible on the shapely silhouette,

highlighted against a barely risen sun.


Fall gently friend.                           

You were green in younger days

When you woke to life’s expectancy.

You lived off the air and sunshine

As you danced in the wind.


Fall gently friend

You hung covering all, owl, mouse,

the great, outlaw and the fungus.

You played with light and shade

As you sang in the wind.


Fall gently friend

You were unique – never again

will we see your shape and vein.

You lived alone but connected; not only

to the branch, to the tree but to the canopy.


Fall gently friend

your six months service is over.

You transpired, with others, to give life to the tree

But now, purpose gone, you discolour;

bringing gold and burgundy to brighten Autumn.


Fall gently friend

Free agent now, cut off from life’s source

You drift with the wind, going where Life takes you.

Useless; life over. The end. A new bud left behind.

Till, in falling apart, your Life begins anew.


Dr. Stewart McMurdo, Groomsport, Bangor, Co. Down. Visiting Uibh Laoire since 1981