Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dolebury Oak

Jamie Dormer-Durling
Part 1

Drawn on the line that runs between
the deepest sky
and the iron heart
of this huge ball our home,
One oak tree stands

like Moses raising arms up to the sky
pleading for victory
you ask the streams that nourish you
and underfoot, the softly yielding earth
you ask and see to it
that life prevails.

Etched on our branching retina
angled in that special way
that oak trees have,
those twisting boughs that
channel the fragrant juice of life
those curling tips
that comb the river of the wind
too subtle to be seen
too small for us to hear
above the sigh of human restlessness.

Part 2

My grey trunk splits
and dives into the ground
to grasp at stones
and drive on through red earth
breaking the beds of ancient seas.
I snake around each tiny grain of sand
flowing and feeling in a living stream
smaller and smaller yet

seeking the single jewel
that gives green to the leaf.
Down through the centuries of soil
I slip my tiny nerves against your useless gold
I skim another flake of rust
to blunt the sharpness of a long-stilled axe.

Cell by cell, flowing and holding on
my roots will dance a spirit dance with
delicate white hairs of all our allies,
down cracks, following the way of water
drinking the hidden rain
deep in the loving darkness of the earth.

My roots know more than moving men
could possibly make out.

© Richard Lawson
January 2007

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