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* - galaxy

THE OAK AND MAN

Posted on 2005.11.06 at 21:16
Well, the grand oaks are turning rusty red and orange and brown.

Here's an article about the oak:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/living/home/13089038.htm

And more about oaks:

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants

And MY POEM ...

THE OAK AND MAN

Man was grown to climb the oak
And oak was planned to hone the man
No wiser tree, no finer folk
Could rise so bold and break this span

Wide and grand, both mind and branch
Twined in one expanding Good
Through ages taut ascension ran
By hand on hand - on wood, on wood

From Bushbaby and baby bush
Through history to noble clan
Through icy climes and underbrush
Paced the dance and pipes of Pan

Once, Neanaertal split bark and
Cracked the acorn for his food
Protected by the pelt Oak tanned
And in great fanned penumbra stood

And when man went without his hood
He could beneath red Oak go stand
Observing in strong neighbourhood
Runic grain, by gnomic hand

Old poetry, through gold-leaf sprang
Like fountain-trunk from sundry root
Tnen in wind, and fairies, sang
Druidic tomes and Gnostic shoots

Here, gathered round blood-wine and food
Shamen in a Woden band
Minded prey and vernal good.
Hueing stars to grace their holy land

Bardic blokes and hard women
Weaved a coil of knotty plot
In common grove romed thesbians
Suspending moil and dreams of naught

Vert to verve and treow to Truth
Split pillars were inclined to slant
With light into cathedral roof
Where candles warmed a monkish chant

Then, in time, descent began
Huge Oak was bent to matter's proof
That all machine be nature's plan
Life-shorn, vertu became aloof

High comedy went through the roof
That day green apple felled Satan
(Who once was, "Satyr," "Sage," "the hoof,
"Sagitarius," once "Peter Pan")

But, since, that role has passed to man
And since man cannot be but good
No longer shall a shelter stand
In knowledge, our kind motley wood

Therefore, the race has faltered rude
The state of poetry is bland
Where once Oak held our country's good
There only stands a lot of sand

(Here, children broke their sanguine backs
Perched on boards or burrowed in moss
Defending plots from own-drunk axe
As clouds and mud, so drawn, broke off)

On this dry plane, new man commands
One will to grow, but deemed to yoke
Gashed by protean thorns of Chance
Disrobed of Weal, planetworked cloak

Man was grown to climb the Oak
And Oak was planned to hone the man
No wiser tree, no finer folk
Should rise so bold and break this span



And... a more personal poem....


The Tree I Never Climbed

The world has turned about a long while
And many trees have caught and held,
Though many more have sparked in seed
And dried, and fell away into the winded soil.
Oh, see the time that Will has toiled.

A forest stands upon this saddened dust -
This swell so deep, but weak, unseasoned crust -
A drift of birch and elm and Norway Maple,
And scatterings of seed and rust in rainbow oil.
Oh, see the woods the woulds have spoiled.

There, the Bluejays vie for dwindling boxes.
Pale plastic ghosts where once flew foxes.
Bleak branches scrape the sky for rain.
There, The stars implored my eyes to burn for gold.
Oh, see the flame dawn's fire has foiled.

I passed into this wildernether,
Where a golden twig had sprung and feathered,
Before I'd even entered there, and entered there
I did, amongst the wintered rock and Cinquefoil.
Oh, see the green the green has coiled.

And lived amongst the fair and foul and new,
Where some were felled by substitutes,
And some were felled by constitution,
And some held true to roots of Pennyroyal.
Oh, mother ships, the ships of moil.

And there, alone, there grew an Oak
So small, mistaken for a bane or common folk,
Although it could, one day, sport a cloak of red,
And bleed a head of holy Mistletoe.
Oh, dream the child, the dream Noel.

Though, all about, the forest faltered,
Made fodder for an adult alter,
This single Oak, a home for hope and squirrels,
Escaped the faulting hand of man and roil,
And rolled its vaulting clasp to higher soils.

While there were those who set to climb
As duty called, indeed, this tailing vine -
To challenge false inventions or, like weeds,
Strangle off love's eye, and then recoil -
I walked too tall to folly in such foible.

My own wooden aspiration was most of mind -
To know each creator before creation finding,
And design the face before a trace implying -
To verify a right to life, lest all life be embroiled.
To call a taller tree than me to trial.

So, as I wound, like clock, about creation,
The great Oak pined in contemplation,
But grew the greater for oblation,
And, by the wind, stood stronger than before.
All wind and war unwind our mortal coil.

When soon that tree grew level to a man -
Enough to float, or else to hang, a man -
Its mane a span of many hands and voices -
This lad surveyed away, away from Foyle,
Away from Druid dreams that engines boiled,

Away from artifice not fertilising good,
But girdling, like figs, its ever-greening wood -
Collapsing and exploding, (pulp exchanged for relics
In a petrifying scheme). I toiled to explicate,
Against the gross exfoliate.

Away, to dream, I took my noble chase,
And saw myself laid green into an Oaken case,
Descending slow, six monkeys with my face
Feeding at my feet. Now all we drifted off lona:
Alone and lost in space, no Oak grove in Viola.

Then, still, my skull broke free upon a shoal
To dream a hike - as Night clouds rolled
Into the Oaken shade, where shade-man ruled
Like moss. Youth was stopped to fathom loss and all.
Sol drew grain and leaf behind a shaken wall.

Oh, save, Savanna Oak that ever blessed,
Against a wind as solid as a kiss
While many men there fought and fell,
And many nailed their darkenings to its soul.
Oh, see the middle hold, with nowhere whole.

There's the tree I chose to never climb.
Never sunk, but gaining on the sky in time.
It's roots wrapped 'round the globe, oblique.
As if to draw upon the mass of man. despoiled...
It's crown: a show of peace and leavings royal.

There's the tree I chose to never climb.
Having seen no man or fool precede my rhyme.
And nowhere finding such content at other climes;
My health declining with each common quarrel.
Now all the woods is only this and sour sorrel.

There's the tree I chose to never climb,
But lie there at its feet I shall, declined to lie,
And suffer not the truth by mere emergency.
There's the tree that did not climb me, so toll
Your forward bell, and bid your yarn unfurl.

The world has turned about a longer while
And many trees have caught and held.
Though many more have sparked in seed
And dried, and fell away into the winded soil.
Oh, see the time that Will has toiled.

Oh, see my father, lost into a drift of smoke,
The smoke of all a thousand shoots unspoken.
Now, watch the oak, its lofty mantle broken
Into a listless whorl - all earthen pacts annulled.
Or else: become mirage, its promise but a beacon
Dancing near to heaven, proud...


And here's a book: "Oak: The Frame of Civilization" - William Bryant-Logan (Norton).

Comments:


Desiree
sugarplanet at 2005-11-07 04:02 (UTC) (Lien)
I don't understand the oak fascination.
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2005-11-09 07:21 (UTC) (Lien)

a ok - oak!

Hey - ok - I wasn't mad because of this comment - I am so way behind on comments it's nutso. But yeah, the oak fascination is a Celtic thing. And since you're 1/4th Scottish, it will prolly come to you one day. Actually - I wasn't into it much until I studied up on trees, which I always wanted to do. Then I got into the oak. It's a cool tree. It sports Holly, it attracts orchids, it's oil content repels lightning, it's wood is the best, and it has a long history in myth.
Desiree
sugarplanet at 2005-11-09 23:49 (UTC) (Lien)

Re: a ok - oak!

oh OK, I understand now. See, I know nothing about oaks but I've always like the wood.
_lor_rie_ at 2005-11-07 13:19 (UTC) (Lien)
i like the poem...actually, i always like ur poems. :)
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2005-11-08 00:52 (UTC) (Lien)

da da doooo dooooooooo - a poem by brendan

Hey thanks dude. I hate my poems. Eventually. I've written a lot - but I like very few. That's part of the deal being a poet. But anyway, I am a poet - that's all I am.
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