Tree of the Year, 2020
A lonely pine tree believed by superstitious locals to act as sentinel over a flooded Czech village has been chosen as Europe’s tree of the year,
The Guardian of the Flooded Village has grown for 350 years on a rocky height near the village of Chudobin, said locally to play host to a devil that sat under it at night, playing the violin and warding off intruders […].
Its guardianship was doomed, however, as [between 1947 and 1957] a dam was constructed on the site and flooded the village, leaving only the lonely pine tree as witness to its former existence.  Whether the devil still plays there is unknown.
                                                                                   The Guardian March 17 2020

Chudobin pine
Tree of the Year, the Old-Time Fiddler said:
Above the Irish Yew, the English Oak!
Rooting more deeply in its rocky bed,
The Village Guardian swayed its ageing head,
As if acknowledging a tease, a joke,
Or maybe just the sweetness of a breeze:
An airy promise, not an offered trade.
But fiddlers are less generous than trees,
And play, however charmingly, for fees,
Payable on demand.  The pine had swayed;
And now the dam released a cataract
That drowned the village.  It became a mere,
Its homes demolished – repossessed, in fact.
One single tree bears witness to the act:
Tree of the Dammed, and – finally –  the Year.
Three score ten years: a lifetime for a win.
The amiable pine had long played host
To that quaint player with his violin;
Seventy years of hush then ushered in
This glorious day.  It passed without a boast.
Silence surrounds the Guardian of the Dead.
Tree of the Year! the Old-Time Fiddler said.

Ruth S. Baker

If you have any thoughts about this poem,  Ruth S. Baker  would be pleased to hear them