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The Oak

I am The Oak.
Some say I'm a symbol of the English
(Whether that's a good thing, or not,
Depends on what you think of the English!)

One thing's for certain:
I've been around as long as mankind.
Or even longer. However...
Longevity is not necessarily a sign of strength 
Or value.
Unless you're an oak.

If I stand for anything at all, then
Consistency and the absence of change
Are reasons I have survived.
(When all around may have flexed. Or been lost.)

'Move with the times,' they say.
So people move. Change. Some to survive. 
Some, even, to thrive.

Once planted, established, I cannot move.
For centuries weathering storm, flood, drought.
Or even man himself, with his axe.

Figuratively, man contends with similar threats,
Including the axe, wielded by a fellow!
(There are few suicides.)

So, if I will not - cannot - move, therefore...
Do I not stand in the way of progress?

But only if I block your path.
(Which could take years.)

English Oak Tree

The oak cannot learn from man; but,
Is the reverse possible?

At the very least the oak adapts to the seasons
As so should we.
(The seasons being forces neither can control.)

And the oak provides homes for others
Who, in turn, have their own value. To others.

Its branches provide both shade and shelter
From life's sunny and rainy days,
For both man and beast.

Its leaves, and those of it's arboreal cousins
Deliver the very essence of Life, for some.


Beyond that, the ability to change - Freedom - 
Should be protected.
As should the right to remain unchanged.

The gift is to know which is right.
When, and for whom.

The Oak image courtesy of

Unsplash and Mike Holford

More poems and short stories...

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