It's a Word Thing! Creative writing workshop
Saturdays 12.00 - 3.00pm at Coombes Croft Library
Take part in some fun and stimulating creative writing exercises,
share your work in a relaxed and friendly group,
or just work on your own writing projects - it doesn't matter
Tree Stories for the Tree Charter
The Tottenham Oak
She stands, a pillar of support for the community
Magnificent and proud
Her branches outstretched towards the sky
Inviting passing migrants
En route to foreign lands
A chance to rest a while.
She stands not daunted by
the changing passages of time
As stormy winds both caress
and beat her boughs
She fights at times, refusing
to be beaten down
But as her branches bend
and twist to strengthen her
She shrugs to let the raindrops fall
Like beads of refreshment
they fall towards the ground
Her leaves now shining
Clean to boast the
now bright green glow.
She stands alone as she
watches time fleeting by
If only she could speak
to give account of all
the cracks of life
Provisions made for
Squirrels, insects and birds
Who drop by to rest, to
eat, to live and at
times stay awhile
Her acorns, leaves and
minibeasts provide a
And there are much more
left to bury for a winter's eat
knowing both the traumas
and the pains long gone
She has seen the impact
of the changes made
She's heard the lovers promise
She has seen the children squabble
She was witness to
the murderer's confession
when his heart was
full of woe
She heard it all, when they visited
As they laid under
her opened umbrella.
secrets she would not
Time can speak for her
This great old girl
She was there
When all was taking place
She heard, and experienced all
But she stood in silence
Not having to give an opinion
or share her deepest
No one asked
No reply given,
embedded in her ringed framework
Are all her logged reports
safely stored for an
Once long ago, a hand did place
A seedling small, without a face
Roots it took, going down down deep
Till one day the son, it did meet
It grew so slowly, thickening wide
Till the day it came, in shade you could hide
A strong deep bark and a royal Green leaf
In this Royal Oak there was belief
That once was small, and weak in youth
Could again give hope in peace not tooth
For the day will come
When all will fade
But that Royal Oak
Will never decay
© Brian Munday
My tree story
At a glance it would seem by a degree an early romance, from a distance that grew into a life long love affair, O mighty trees.
As a child I watched as they danced with the gentle breeze, with them I was always at ease, pleased I was and still am to eat their fruits, mangoes, apples and pears, who cares as long as we can eat. As a child once again I felt a certain delight in the fact that I could climb a tree it gave me a degree.
Metaphorically speaking they stand their ground. Sound.
I believe it as in the eighties there was a mighty storm walking from Stamford Hill to Tottenham, roads were blocked by falling trees, fire and emergency sevices were out and about, chain saws cut and bruised as they abused trying to unblock roads of mighty oaks, drenched and soaked, their backs were snapped, spines broken. Yet they laid like heroes of nature, they stood their ground defeated by mighty winds, snapped cracked their cries affected my eyes, as the dawn light it was a terrible sight here, there and everywhere. They laid. A war was fought, they lost.
D Whyte, 25 February 2017
Aesculus hippocastanum (The Horse Chestnut)
Life began many seasons past from a seed that began as a child's
Conquering weapon of choice in playground games
With glossy nut brown skin and a scar on the chin
And creamy, silky flesh that is poison to the horse
And miraculous to the scientist for its medicinal source.
Growth, year after year, and growth some more
Producing chlorophyll leaves a hand span across
And flowers that show when spring is here with white,
And touch of red that shows this one's not dead.
And growth continues through the summer sun
And autumnal rains produce the spiky fruit and
New glossy, nut brown seeds that have the DNA
Of parent tree in their swirls and whorls and like a
Fingerprint, are unique, and then a child reaches for
The seed and takes it home and soaks in vinegar,
Acetic acid softening, then baking in the heat of oven
(So long as mother watches over them).
String pushed through hole that's made and hardened
Conker begins its campaign to be a sixer or a twelver,
By destroying all comers in the playground war.
And childhood dreams are met with children's screams
As battle commences while health and safety cringe
And say these games make us squirm and cower
So we wield the power to stop the conker brawl.
But kids are kids and battles are won with bits of string
And conkering fun. While the tree continues to bring
Seeds of wealth that produce more trees leaving a family
Of Aesculus hippocastanum, ad infinitum, for more children to conquer.
My tree story
Do you see a biosphere?
Do you see a world of wonder
Living, interacting, underneath
The natural canopy here?
Do you even understand
I existed before you?
Spoken into being on
The third day at the LORD's command?
Do you even want to know
How you need my kind to breathe?
I'm the lung your planet needs -
A full life-cycle below
Can you start to comprehend
How your world depends on me?
Breath of life; a humble tree.
You will get it in the end.
Don't leave it too late to see
I need you and you need me
We're designed to share this earth
Simple seed, mighty tree.