The Merchant and the Tree

O tree, standing by the river amid the breeze
I ask, what is your net worth?
If I should fell your mighty trunk
Fashion into a tall ship’s mast
Conquer untold seas and mould
Your remains into currency binding all
Eternally through malign veils, will this yield
The greatest riches, will this prove to
Me your worth? Or shall I extract
That sweet melody I hear emanating
Through far reaching limbs, as they dance
Upon the wind, a new Christmas number 1
And fame prove your worth! Or shall
I imitate your beauty via planes
Of commerce traded by my peers,
Written about by halfwits paid
To assume you justified by genius?
Or shall I harness your coolness
Of shade appeasing the sun? What if I
Remove your shadow from these ripples
And cast its void among endless showrooms,
Will fairy tale sums on magic screens rise
And prove to me your worth?
Or shall I capture the precious air you restore
And charge admission to collective lungs?
7 billion barcodes and rising – O tree,
Think of the profits!
Now I look up and see the many
Creatures that you house … I wonder,
O tree, how much rent do you charge?

2018

© Percival Alexander