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
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.