End rhyme does not come naturally to me. But every so often I think I should flex the bit of brain to conform to verse. Besides, you cannot maintain a howl unless you are Allen Ginsberg. And you need to be young to sustain that kind of writing.

Poetry practice today takes my favourite tree variety as its topic. I was particularly struck by one I saw on the Haiku PoeTree Walk in Cavan Burren Park last weekend. There I saw a young oak sprouted and growing around a lump of karst. Karst is weathered limestone. And this particular example of the species could not be deterred even by a lump of Ice Age stone from growing. Oaks live to a great age and so have come to symbolise endurance. But it is not just staying a long time. They can seemingly endure less than hospitable early beginnings, too, no matter the early environment. There are always more metaphorical nuts to crack.


An oak is a doorway
that swings open and shut.
An oak is an open hand
offering food for thought.

It grows slow and long
And even on rock.
An oak is a doorway.
Approach it and knock.

Knock its plank.
Knock its plane.
Knock its gnarled roots
Knock logs put to flame.

Step over its lintel
strewn with acorn mast.
Step over that mushroom
growing where you must pass.

An oak is a doorway.
No evil shall pass its way.
An oak is a doorway.
Nor evil outlast its say.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

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