At last I knew what the oak tree knows




At last I knew what the oak tree knows

My blood ran slower, my hair felt lankier
and as the flowers in my basket withered,
happiness spilled out, fell from my eyes like acorns.
My hunger ebbed away, my throat tightened,
my body lifted and grew upwards
in search for the light, loneliness was no more.
I learned to branch out into green shelters,
read the chakras of birdsong and the tarot
of leaves against the drifting clouds.
I was there for my husband still
to melt his tears in the touch of memories,
but my heart curled beneath, where the dead
whisper and console.
I live like this now, my marriage elongated and bent
as a peacock tail,
above, the clouded sky of my life, where the wind
sings of forgiveness.
With its echoing sound, I reach downwards,
the silent ground feels soft like homecoming,
a womb opening up with the promise
of sanctuary, rebirth.


© Yutka 2023
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I read your intriguing – and I have to say – sad poem and immediately thought of the old Celtic poem ‘The Battle of the Trees’ (which I read in ‘The White Witch’ in my twenties and fruitlessly tried to memorise!) But this is all emotions tied into one, not just sad, isn’t it? I know your final word is ‘rebirth’ but there is a timelessness to this piece which takes it (as much of your work, I feel) into the zone of the esoteric. It is not exactly an apologue, but I’m certain the more times I read it… Read more »


The oak tree, a timeless tree? I may be reading more into it, but it seems as though the narrator is seeking the wisdom of nature, as manifest in the earth, to heal and to forgive; and it is a lovely poem – in as much as (always) your use of language excels. Thanks Yutka I’ll be coming back to this one.

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