the pines that clutch the highest mountain crest -
wind-blasted, withered, agonized and bare,
bowed low as if enfeebled by the air;
as venerable elders (forced to rest
on canes, deformed by gravity, oppressed
by time and stress) will shed their shrivelled hair,
the needles of these pines are scarcely there,
thinned out by altitude’s incessant tests.
the lowland pines are lofty, spreading, thrive
and flourish in abundant rain and soil;
the summit-pines are twisted, crabbed, and clubbed -
all outward fulgence bartered to survive
the tempest’s torture, torqued in bitter toil;
triumphant and indomitable scrub.