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Sunday, 23 October 2011

On seeing a row of oaks

I am drawn towards these oaks
imagine them
as carved from some great silence
by a man who knew what silence is.

Not that they are silent.
No tree is that,
but that they come from silence,
are its inheritors.

A tree is many things:
hard working, for a start,
just ask the chief executive
of its hydraulic plant.

Its workshops are frenetic:
sap slurping in the pipes,
air pressures lifting roofs -
or if not that, then bursting cells -

to drive or energise
the process of osmosis.
The best of tissues rupture,
and though you may not hear,

a thousand little buggy things
will catch the pop.
Maybe they'll stop
their noisy chumping,

or making love.
Maybe they'll not.
But to return to silence:

could you imagine
you are one such tree
as carved from silence
by my enlightened man?

Like all things living
you exist as twins.
Non-identical. Inseparable.
An inner and an outer oak

The outer oak is what we know:
great strength, longevity
dependability and calm -
the silence that we seek.
But now the inner oak...
how does that feel?
And can you sense your spirit's strength,
your heft, what made the Druids

worship you and link you
to their summer solstice,
use you for their wands
and as a centre for their world?

Or do you simply fret
about your outer oak,
the roughness of your bark,
the fruitfulness of fruit?

I am submitting this poem to Poets United for their Poetry Pantry #72


sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,i like the theme of the poem,very wel done.

Jim Murdoch said...

I think it would be considerably more powerful if you ditched stanzas 3 through 7. They’re an aside, not uninteresting, but a distraction. The rest I like. Very much.

kaykuala said...

Great strong oaks from acorns grow. Inner oaks translate to inner strength which sometimes elude us.
Excellent verse!


haricot said...

You gave us a couple of big questions, indeed.

Mary said...

Dave, you have really got inside the tree...the inner and the outer. It was interesting to think about life from an oak's perspective.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a splendid piece. I adore oaks.

120 Socks said...

Wonderful piece - I have a fascination with trees - love the inner and outer oak.

JeannetteLS said...

Oh, dear. How uncomfortable to realize that I tend toward that last stanza. Please eliminate it immediately,so that I can fancy myself that inner oak being worshiped by the Druids. Now.

I hate it when that happens. And image in poetry carries me someplace and then I come to an uncomfortable truth at its end. Dang poetry for moving me!

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I love the widom re;ated about the oak tree and all the related thoughts.
I am fascinated by trees, especially those which have been 'in position', for many years. The situations and the human living, which 'the eye of the tree' has been witness to.
I certainly love the 'inner oak', remaining unseen as such, to the human eye.


Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed :-).

Mishi said...

very well written Dave..enjoyed every bit of it:)

Carl said...

Wonderful! I will not look at a tree thesame way again.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

I liked that, especially the final verse!

Dave King said...

Thanks sunny.

Interesting comment. Thanks for. The verses you mention began life as the heart of the poem. I can see there is more than one thread here, but my instinct would be to cut (if I do cut) the first three verses and maybe write another first verse. Verse 3 - 7 seem to me to be germane to the theme of an inner and an outer tree.

Yup, but it takes 70 years from birth before the tree produces an acorn!

Hi, and a warm welcome. Thank you for your comment.

Thanks for that, Mary. It's an aspect that fascinates me.

Thanks. Yes, there's something special about them isn't there?

120 Socks
thank you very much. really good to hear from you.

I am sure you have your place among the things druidic. I guess the last verse was a bit mischievous.

Isabel Doyle said...

I loved stepping through your oak avenue Mr King. I have another adjective to describe your work beyond 'Kingly' now: dendritic.

I can see that maybe (?) you have more than one poem embedded in this trunk, but I am unable to suggest any pruning.

Isabel x

Dave King said...

"Dendritic", I love. Thanks for that. I was thinking of grafting, actually - onto another trunk.

Dave King said...

Thank you for some interesting reflections.
There is so much that goes on the depths of a tree that mostly we know nothing about.

Many thanks.

Thank you for your visit and your comment. It's really good to have your company.

Whichever way you look at them, they're beautiful! Thanks Carl.

Interesting comment. Thank you very much for it.