Song of the Ornery Oak

I am an old oak bowed by years,
knee-deep in my fractured limbs,
leafless, bare of bark and splintered,
destroyed by lightning in a storm.

I am an old oak fraught with scars,
and here you are with saw and axe
already stained with another tree’s sap –
I’ve anchored my roots to thwart your task.

Kim M. Russell, 2nd June 2019

Image result for English oak tree struck by lightning

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetry Form: Quatrain, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

I missed this poetry form while I was busy with my seasonal work, which has taken me three weeks to complete, during which time I managed to write only two poems and six haiku. Thankfully, I’m back to my daily writing routine this morning, and am frantically trying to catch up. I hope I’m not too late for this one.

I chose to emulate the Coleridge ballad with the ABCB rhyme pattern, but with slant rhyme. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is an old favourite of mine. I have a 1978  reprint of the Chatto & Windus edition which was first published in 1949, wonderfully illustrated by Mervyn Peake.

37 thoughts on “Song of the Ornery Oak

  1. kaykuala

    already stained with another tree’s sap –
    I’ve anchored my roots to thwart your task.

    There is always a fight back when one is faced with those conniving bullies who ram home their strength against obvious weaknesses!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the voice of this old oak. It’s honest assessment of it’s weaknesses don’t make it any less determined even in the face of the inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think she is, Jim! Have you heard of hearts of oak? Both willow and bay trees in my garden are fighting back after a close trim. Oaks are mighty. 😉


    1. Thank you kindly. I will check to see what has happened to the image. I had problems adding one of my own photos today but haven’t posted that poem yet.


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