Thursday, 22 March 2012

Fraxinus ash

Where does a seed fall?
where will it lie?
In the bed, function junction
between navel and thigh.
What makes a man whole?
What sets him free?
When he learns how to fall
in love with a tree.
I tried to pick it
from briary thicket
From dense forest black
and green woody glen,
From elegant copse
and dark shady nook
to mountainy slopes
and damp furtive fen.
I sought my loved one
this pale elusive bitch
At long last I found her
standing guard at a ditch.
And “what is your name?”
I asked of this lass,
“Check with the grapevine
or my carpet of grass”,
she said with distain,
or scorn or which,
“Maybe you’re Elm?”
“She said I’m no Wych”
“Could your name be Hazel?
Or Holly or Peach,
Olive or Poplar
Or Cherry or Beech?”
She said “they’re all cousins
When you’re having a bash
For shame sir, My name sir
Is Fraxinus Ash”.

I confided “I’m thinking
Of wedding a tree,
But I must be supplied
with a recent CV”.
She said, “my nephews
Are hurleys, pliant and strong,
My branches a stage
For blackbird’s sweet song,
My uncle a table
To show off your fare
And aunties a handle
Her sister a chair.
My fruit’s a samara
Like my best friend Maple
‘Spinning Jenny’ in England
My religion is Papal.
I supply the wan colour
When you’ve been disgraced
You’ve heard of the phrase
‘now he’s ashen faced’.
My shelter and colour
A lifetime will last,
I provide my own wardrobe
When winter is past.
I love my friend, day,
And the dark blessed night
My bark is Gods gift
I don’t have a bite.
Every artist can paint me
I know how to wait
And when my life’s over
I’ll brighten your grate.
Please sir search where you will
And spend all your cash
But you’ll always come home
To Fraxinus Ash.”
When no one was looking
On left bended knee
I appealed to her leaves
and proposed to my tree.
I still guard my Fraxinus
From saw, fire and stack
And from that day to this
I’ve never looked back.


  1. Delightful verse!

    And congratulations on your Limerick-Off Honorable Mention! Limerick of the Week 54 Nice job!