Back to the May magazine

Overheard in the Forest

“If you listen to me”, said the Old Oak tree,
“I’ll teach you the way to grow
One inch in the year is the way, my dear,
In case you didn’t know.”

“No listen to us” said the firs, with some fuss,
“That pace will not suit us at all.
You must double that rate – it’s getting so late
And press up if you mean to grow tall”.

“It is all very well”, said an elm in the dell,
“When you’re burdened with nests full of rooks,
They are noisy and rude and crazy and crude,
And sometimes the craftiest crooks.”

“Well what about me?” said the deodar tree
“I’ve grown for a hundred years;
No one cares, not too hoots, if I can’t do square roots!”
And it wept a few resinous tears.

“Now I have a key”, said a slim young ash tree,
“Don’t trouble about your growing
Be quiet and true in the way meant for you
And look up at the sky where you’re going”

“Send your roots right down deep, rock the small birds to sleep
And spread out your limbs in the air.
Lift your leaves to the sun till the summer is done
And reflect how the forest is fair.

?Enid Gush

Back to the May magazine