Tim Martindale – Oak

09 Apr 2019 / #Arvon50

Oak tree

OAK
By Tim Martindale

 

I am oak.

I am one and I am many.

The sentry guarding the edge of the field,

The edge of human and unhuman time.

I am memory itself.

 

I know you by what you are not.

You are not deer, nor fern, nor moss, nor sunlight,

Which I suffer, repel, harbour, collect, reach for.

You are tiny swift feet running beside the river over my exposed roots,

You are hands that caress and touch,

You are the axe that bites.

 

You know me by my refuge,

My quiet sun-dappled arbour.

But like the moon I have faces you never see.

I have a face I turn only towards the moon, the sun and creatures of feather.

There is rain, ice, snow and wind.

There is a knowing.

 

I am my cool understory,

Alert to hoof and musk of deer,

Secretions of fern and wild garlic,

The footfall of you that is not deer, nor fern, nor moss.

There is a knowing.

 

I am a chthonic tangle of limbs thrusting into the deep, dark womb of the earth,

Speaking, listening, and waiting.

There is a knowing.

 

I gather the earth, the river, the field and the sky.

I am patience itself.

I am one and I am many.

I am oak.

_______________________________________________________________________

#Arvon50
Arvon turned 50 in 2018 and to celebrate we have collected the stories of writers far and wide who have a tale to tell about Arvon. The collection is published in our anniversary book and featured on our blog. This contribution is by Tim Martindale. 

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