When we see a child, we see their potential to grow, just like a tiny seed can one day grow into a mighty tree. We can also see the circle of life that needs to be revitalised with each generation. With this in mind, take a look at the world’s second largest known tree, the President, in Sequoia National Park, photographed by National Geographic magazine photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols. The final photograph is a mosaic of 126 images! WOW!
To see Nick’s photos, go to
With all of this for inspiration, I was led to write the poem below, and we hope you find the symbol of the President an inspiration for your own lives.
Ballad of a Tree – A poem by Frances Clarke
Two centuries of rings within,
A tribute to nirvana.
Nature’s statue time forgot,
A seedling dangles, vulnerable,
Clinging to mother’s limb,
The gusty air is strong up there,
An ominous prelim.
Nevertheless, before the wind
Had chance to snatch the nut,
A furry fiend kidnapped it first,
Plucked straight from cradling cup.
Its beady head with marble eyes,
Adept with glassy vision,
Scanned the ground for the perfect spot
To make a kernel prison.
A pleasing plot the rodent found,
Where hilltop meets the sky,
To claw a ditch into the land
And lay the seed inside.
The acorn snoozed in soily bed
Atop the earthy crest,
Till rain began to poke the seed,
Which stirred its peaceful rest.
Its innards swelled fervently,
Exerting its waxy armour.
A crack splintered through the shell,
Beginning its arduous labour.
It anchored down to find the juice
That quenched its thirst for life,
And then began its journey up,
Towards the glint of light.
Two hundred years soon saw the sprout
Accede to estranged DNA,
Mosaic bark of shredded fragments,
Softened by silky algae.
Some thousand pliant leaves formed
A glorious jade afro,
But chameleonic in the fall,
It redressed in gamboge.
In cyclic life, its seeds were reaped,
As jays and squirrels blitzed
Every offspring to create
An acorn necropolis.
But a fatal canker leeched the oak,
And swelled around the trunk.
Its poison bled through every ring,
And through its roots it sunk.
A voiceless life, hushed in death,
In a breeze it waves goodbye,
Just a silhouette of inky veins
Leaking black across the sky.