A line of oaks

A favourite oak from one of my walks

My first published poem on the online platform Words for the Wild

I have very clear memories of writing this poem. I was sitting in the classroom we used for our writing group. I could hear the pens of the other writers in the room as they scribbled their own poems and prose around the theme of trees.

I took my mind to a set of oaks that had captured my heart the first time I set my eyes on them. Standing tall in the grounds of the school where I was the Headteacher. These trees were a huge part of the reason why I wanted to work in the school. At least 250 years old, they towered over the playgrounds and the field surrounding the school. I loved them, the children loved them, the staff loved them.

When a child would have a tricky time, they would often escape to the field. The oaks would always provide a natural distraction from that heightened emotion and help them self-regulate to a safer space. Trees are pretty amazing.

Here’s a link to the published page. https://wordsforthewild.co.uk/?page_id=2188

If you don’t want to leave, here it is.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments.

A line of Oaks 

How do you track time? 

Is it by the seasons?

The light as it lengthens and shortens across the year?

Is it by the moon as it waxes and wanes?

Or by the stars, as they make their celestial way across the sky? 

Do you track time by the sowing of seeds, the lambing of sheep or the harvest of grain?

I track time by my observations of the oaks.

That stand in a line on the edge of the field by the village hall.

A line of age

Planted by intent

To map out belonging.

A line which has lasted two hundred years or more. 

A line of memories of countless children that have swung and climbed the branches, who grew and outgrew their socks, shoes and homes. 

A line of time shown by the thickening girth

And countless rings which hide beneath the rustling branches.

A line of six whose presence gives protection from summer sun and driving rain when caught out on a walk.

And shelter to those who need time to think, time to pray, and time to whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears. 

I track time by their leaves that grow, flourish and fall.

A line of age.

A line of memories. 

A line of time.

A line of oaks. 

By Samantha Jayasuriya

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