Poems to remember the oak

Oak Tree in intu Milton Keynes
Oak Tree in intu Milton Keynes

After last week’s news that the oak in Oak Court in centre:mk is officially dead, local poet Geoffrey Taylor contacted us with three of his poems about the grand old tree.

Here they are.

Dying Oak

A dead tree in the centre

Its leaves are turning brown

You notice as you enter

Midsummer Place in town

What does its image presage?

A city in decline

What is the oak trees message?

What of it can be known?

Green field sites enveloped

By tall encroaching towers

Hedges and lanes developed

By bureaucratic powers

No more little acorns

Beneath its leafy green

Disenchanted environs

For the loss of what’s been.

Concrete Oak

What can replace an ailing oak?

If this centre-piece be felled

What does it mean to local folk?

Whatever views they’ve held

Experts have probed its sad decline

Seeing magnificence fade,

Encased within its shopped confine

Such withering price is paid.

Replacing cows with ones like stone

Caused many a laugh elsewhere,

Now lush green fields have gone we groan

Lamenting this eyesore

Why not erect a concrete tree

Sculpture is the latest craze

My goodness what a stir there’d be,

Green shoots would then amaze!

Midsummer Oak

The death of a tree

Is a grieving to see?

A dying oak

Is a sorrow bespoke?

A symbol to view

If its nature is true,

Leave it to be

In its own misery

Where under its boughs

Graze the concrete cows,

Out of its place

Like a planner’s grimace;

To such urban cost

It reminds us what’s lost,

Left bearing down

Rues the centre of town,

Yet still we can hope

There is life in this oak

That good may spring,

Raise the Midsummer ring.