Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The People’s Tree

The Anglo Saxon attitude of Ash:
Less noble, demanding less attention
Than the oak, means each space, each gash,
Each emptiness, each eradication,
Will come as something of a strange surprise
Because we hardly knew that it was there.
Yet we depended on its strength.  And wise
To its reliability, lacked care.
We took fore granted, did not write in praise,
Describing it at length, nor mentioned how:
It filtered light upon the floor, to raise
Great drifts of subtle flora, made the plough
That Piers pushed, axe handles and the bow.
Perhaps the bow that Robin used to good effect
To cure the pompous of their arrogance and show
All men are equal, though the lowly, poor,
Were subject, as their real Lord, yet free
In spirit, which is really free: to bend,
Lend shelter, act in charity,
To grow, be quite cut down,
Yet rise again, anew,
To reach great heights and then to send
In faith, a seed, a single blade propelled by hope
Far into the future, at the field’s edge, and cope
With weather, cattle, such adversity
As every living entity must do. Then come to be
A new, familiar thing, made of its history,
With quiet, decent, humble dignity,
A giant, formed by light and liberty,
A wondrous, brave, majestic thing, a tree.

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