‘Song of the trees’

I love this poem by Joy Mead, who has generously given me permission to reproduce it here.  I think it’s especially comforting at this dark time of year when we’re all (in the northern hemisphere!) awaiting the return of the light.

Song of the trees

Stories older than memory, longer than history;
gift that is rooted and whispering above;
stars in the trees, holding their mystery:
trembling creation, dancing in love.

Oak is for kingship; birch for fertility;
Hazel for wisdom; rowan for mystery;
Pine for nobility; hawthorn for death;
Holly for immortality.

Sensations of prayer, music of our minds,
waves from the past, half-remembered sounds,
stardust and earthdust, promise on the winds,
wisdom for life where beauty astounds.

Oak is for kingship; birch for fertility;
Hazel for wisdom; rowan for mystery;
Pine for nobility; hawthorn for death;
Holly for immortality.

Hope in all that has lived and is living,
seen in our frailty and moment of birth;
glitter of star become rooted, life-giving;
known in the depths of our mothering earth.

Oak is for kingship; birch for fertility;
Hazel for wisdom; rowan for mystery;
Pine for nobility; hawthorn for death;
Holly for immortality.

© from ‘Glimpsed in Passing’ by Joy Mead
Wild Goose Publications (Glasgow, 2014)

Joy is a member of the Iona Community and the author of several books including ‘The One Leaf’, ‘Words and Wonderings‘ and ‘A Way of Knowing‘, all published by Wild Goose Publications.  She has been involved in development education and justice and peace work, and occasionally leads creative writing groups.

Comments

  1. That’s stunning; it stops you in your tracks, wherever you were going.

  2. That’s lovely, it has a kind of magic about it.

  3. Don’t hear much from the trees this time of year, what with trying to keep the cold out. But reading this I could hear them in my mind. I should take a moment to listen more often!
    I have received your book. Hope to get started on it soon.

  4. Edith Douglas says:

    Thanks for posting the poem; it is indeed magic.

  5. Very beautiful light in your picture.
    Interesting poem.

  6. the hazel for wisdom – is that why you chose the hazel tree for your blog, Jo? I love the magical light at this time of year – (keep seeing a deer at the end of the path in your photo! thanks for sharing.

    • It is, kind of, Marie! I’ve always loved hazels. I love that you can see a deer in my photo – I’m always on the lookout for them. 🙂 Most welcome, glad you enjoyed the poem as much as I do!

  7. What a beautiful poem!

  8. Very magical and moving. Thank you Jo for sharing this beautiful poem (and thank you Joy Mead!) As you say, I found the poem particularly resonant at this time of year 🙂

  9. I am glad you brought that to our collective attention…..judging by the previous comments it has appealed to many of us.

  10. Love this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. It’s a wonderful, powerful poem. But does the poet mean “senations” (some variant on senate?) or is it a typo for “sensations”? (Sorry for being nitpicky, but I’m a word person and cherish the value of every written word, especially in such a well-crafted poem as this.)

    • Barb, you’re sharp-eyed – thank you! It is ‘sensations’ and I take full responsibility as I typed it out! Have put it right now. Thanks for your appreciation of this lovely poem.

  12. lovely poem – thanks for introducing me to it – smile

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