dapple daub

dapple daub, yellow sunshine smudge of daffodils, choir clustered along the verge of each and every roadside
frivolity of pink cherry blossom, volupt of magnolia… for what your flower-full gush?
harsh bruising loss within the heart of winter, ‘soon, spring, soon’ a hushed promise, all there was to sustain us
away from the suburbs, deep in the woods, high spring too has begun. pomp. swagger.
froth of white blackthorn, the soft whisper fresh green of willow
the crown of each silver birch, blush feathered purple
a world happily befuddled neath catkin fluff
the buds on each tree, fit to burst
invocation to the equinox
preposterous song of the heart! again, again, impossible not to be in love

hmm, so rather, a tale of a single tree, robust, powerful… living embodiment of myth… ladling it on, natch! far too meander long for irksome facebook, no matter… pic is lush!
back in the early 90’s, i would return from many a travelling roam, to mum and dads house in surrey
gentle tedium, working as a postie, nowt to do but read shakespeare, juggle… and walk the dog, Scruffy, aka Donald McCloud
we’d half heartedly saunter over the golf course, frogger dash across the busy road… then duck, beneath the trees into the magical realm of ashstead common
surrey, all gated communities, huge posh footballers mansions?… yes… but away from the arteries of the main roads, huge swathes of heath and woodland
ashtead common, one such, happily neglected and seldom visited
an almost eerie place, where dinosaurs roam? like an apache burial ground? It’s defining feature, immense groves of ancient oak trees
ten years previously there had been a devastating fire, half the common burnt, many of the old trees fallen and charred, others dead yet still standing
The common, in summer swathed with chest high bracken, the unfurl of spiral fern… in winter dead, broken, brackish brown
always the sense that you were being watched? ha, and sometimes, just maybe you were, donald and i once found one of those curious camouflaged survivalist folk!
we walked up to him, from 2 yards, i hollered a hearty hello, ‘nice day to be out in the woods mister’, but playing possum he neither acknowledged, nor flinched. all gods creatures?
an occasional shy Roe deer, the White flecked Red Fairy Toadstools of fly agaric. Gentle dancing maidens of silver birch sigh in the breeze
The woods, like every landscape on this isle profoundly modulated by the influence of man. ancestors
no pristine wild wood, somewhere midst the heathland was hidden a Roman Villa
The mighty oaks themselves, what 500 years old? In late medieval times, they had been pollarded for generations, continually cropped for firewood
then been used to shelter animals, an acorn harvest for the swine? pannage
the surrounding trees were thinned out, allowing the oaks to channel those immense earthy energies into girth, grown paunch swollen, huge and broad
the oak tree, tree of the thunderer, of zeus, of thor, of all the sky gods, in a wood, always the most likely to be struck by lightening
open crowned, baggy, loose, generous trees, quirky quercus, a vast teeming eco system, each a galaxy unto themselves
since those years of pollarding, their boughs had grown out, and up
This tree? why i never quite knew how to find it? seldom where i imagined it to be, yet in our ramblings frequently blundered upon. ever welcome
Leviathan… Immense, rooted in time and myth… to hug it? why would take 3 of us (maiden, mother, crone) arms outstretched, a finger tip touch to merely encircle. heart pressed, tender against bark
and such bark, quizzical, deep grooved, rutted… the trees arms flung out, then up to the sky. majestic. YES.
yet it had been damaged by the fire, janus faced, half burnt, one side, pale, bleached, bare stripped bough, death and winter, the other, joyful, vibrant, lobed leaf abundance
but there, from within it’s magnificence, growing from the bole, the depth, the heart of the trunk, a holly tree!
It’s base some 10 feet above the ground! not an insubstantial tree itself, 12 feet high? all dark green leaves, hedgehog prickled
over the centuries the center of the oak had rotted down, fertile ground for when a bird dropped a berry
the holly …and the oak
after Robert Graves and the White Goddess, the battle of the holly and the oak kings, each supplanting the other at every solstice, turn then turn about
the oak shall rule over the expansive waxing half of the year, Jovial force of abundance
the holly over the contracting waning half, Saturnine realm of scarcity
ah yes! but beyond stories, a precarious existence, the holly would continue to grow, it’s roots pushing downwards
one day, the oak would be riven, split asunder… yet, no matter
for now, twinned harmony, equinox balance, the burbled luscious life of beginning
thank you. salute staunch beauty brute colossus. oak


hey kate second half was one of the tree yarns i never got around to sending for ya woodsy thing xx

kate: you can come and tell it at the event I’m planning, how about that 😃 xxx

send me the deets and i shall most certainly try and get along, hope we’re all perched aloft in a huge old tree telling each other tales by candlelight! xxx

kate: Ooo you should be organising the event hehe!! that sounds dreamy…please send me your email i will send you the info xxx

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