The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

At the Heart of the Tree

Listen to Jonathan's poem ...
In a frozen land where the ice is blue
and the rays of the Sun cut a silvered hue,
there's an ancient place where the snow lies deep
in a magical wood that is fast asleep.

And through the petrified limbs of the trees
ride the whispered spells in the wake of the breeze,
with a rhyme of words in an icy cloak
binding curses held in each dreaming oak.

And as fortune hangs in the cold crisp air,
like an axe in the hand over all that is there,
nothing stirs at all, with no creature heard,
and the curse locked in as a single word.

The fate of the Earth has been chained up tight
by the lungs of the world using water and light
with the carbon curse held in stout heart wood;
could the risk to us all still be misunderstood?

For the march of progress burns unchecked
and the natural balance is slowly wrecked
and the climate shifts with a rise in degree
and the oceans swell with the loss of each tree.

So as life looks on in a world that’s blind

and the trees are destroyed by humankind
and the birds grow scarce and we start to grieve
and the folk in cities find it hard to breathe,

then the silence breaks and the shadows grow,
till the tree’s heart cracks in the melting snow
and the word awakes to arise unfurled
over children’s lives in a changing world.

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poems Masterclass and This Work is Done were chosen as the Milk House Poem of the Year at the end of 2022 and 2023.