Wayne Poem by Sheena Blackhall


Rating: 5.0

Only one in 10,000 acorns results in a tree.
That tree is me.
My mother was forty when she bore me

I'm an oak of the genus Quercus
I have spirally arranged leaves
In spring, I sprout both male catkins
And tiny female flowers.

My fruit is a nut called an acorn
A cup, known as a cupule
I'm a source of tannic acid,
Which helps to guard me from fungi and from insects.

One of my ancestors is a heart of oak beam
In the frame of the Église Saint-Girons in Monein, France
Another served on a high status Viking longship in the 10th century.
I'm directly descended from a plank in the debating chamber
Of the House of Commons in London

My grandfather's a barrel for Scotch whisky
He was charred before use,
He contributes to the colour, taste, and aroma of the contents

My grandmother, God rest her soul,
Was chipped to smoke fine salmon for the queen.
My French cousins assist in the growing of truffles,
The black Périgord truffle and the white Piedmont truffle
Mushrooms adore my shade, I'm a home for many
So many lodgers!

Kindred in the highlands of Mexico and the Andes
Have been felled for coffee plantations and cattle ranching
Others are axed for timber, fuel-wood and charcoal
78 wild oak species are in danger of extinction!
Can our world sustain such losses?

Sudden oak death from a water mouldcould kill me
Oak wilt, is also a fatal

Other dangers are wood-boring beetles, root rot
Other nasties are Oak apples, galls made by the gall wasp

We oaks are the national trees of many countries
America, Bulgaria, Cyprus, England, Estonia,
France, Germany, Moldova, Jordan,
Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Romania, Serbia, and Wales.

During the Third Reich of Nazi Germany,
Oak leaves were used for military valour
On the Knights' Cross of the Iron Cross.
We also symbolize rank in the USA

In Greek mythology, we were the trees sacred
To Zeus, king of the gods
His priests divined his pronouncements
By interpreting the rustling of our leaves

To the Druids, we were holy.
We were sacred to the Norse god, Thor.
In Wicca, the Oak King
Is one of the Sun God's two faces

Another famous ancestor saved a King
Charles II, hid in his branches
Oak Apple Day marked that time

In the Jurupa Oak tree was our beginning
In Riverside County, California - she is 13,000 years old.

The Major Oak is a thousand years of age
Growing in Sherwood Forest,
Robin Hoodsheltered beneath her

I am the fourteenth oak up Craigandarroch, Ballater,
Hill of the oaks, of ancient lineage
I am sib to the Mary Rose,
Built in Portsmouth for Henry VIII
Made almost entirely of oak,
600 of us were felled to build her!

I am oak, of the genus Quercus
But you can call me Wayne

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