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The Great Oak – Sherwood Forest by Alan Smith

A single acorn fell, a millennium and some, ago,
With sun and light and rain I lived, survived.
Out lived my kind, now centuries long gone
Now I’m alone in silent majesty

I, this Great Oak, stand majestic
Amid my surrounding sylvan kind
I’ve been known to many Sherwood traveller,
Their shelter for a thousand years, and more.

Robin of Loxley passed my way,
First Earl, then outlaw he.
(Sheriff’s men rode close behind him),
He hid in my arms, in garb of Lincoln Green.

Pleasant peasant folk try their worldweary best
To survive ‘neath my canopy of green.
Truffle hunter’s sniffing dogs nuzzle fallen leaves,
While hunter dreams of that elusive earthbound gold.

Many times have I, this Mighty Oak, so strong,
Faced the worst, the very worst of seasons wrath.
I’ve seen springtime gales and summers burning,
Then autumn winds that foretell winter’s chilling white.

Now needing help from timbers that supports,
My ‘friends’ that keep me standing tall.
Fenced in, no one approaches, none come to stand by me,
No touch, no hugs, but dogs approach, still nuzzling leaves!

Though now I stand assisted,
I reign supreme o’er all I see before me.
Still standing tall in Sherwood, should reign another thousand years.
Who, mankind will be cut down first, me or thee?

That outcome, not what I want or wish,
Rather, we survive together, strong. We do belong
Together. Know this mankind, you need to change, and fast
Else, very soon, we’ll take that breath that could be our very last.

I, (and my kind), try hard for you,
That oxygen you need to live was ours, we gave it freely,
But with toxins that you and yours release to us
We can no longer guarantee to breath you life.

More than lip service and target setting is required,
Action is needed, and that action straight away, I tell you.
Else there will be no actions that you may take,
For all will be too late, then you and I await, our final ever nearing fate!

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Conker by Sonia Phillips

Her bright brown eyes recognise their glossy twin
A jewel among bronze, ruby, jade-coloured leaves
Half foetal, within its skin-soft, silk-smooth womb.

Reverently, she eases and prizes the seed from inside its spiky shell
Then triumphantly treasures this marvellous marble of life,
Fingerprints scooping intricately across its glossy iris.

She knows the world encased here: an eagerly awaiting tree
Patient, but ready to breathe life into the world, the girl who sees
The baby victory she holds is as precious as gold.

But the others are wounded. Puppet strings bleed through holes,
Missiles aimed gleefully at their sisters and brothers.
Conquerors, explosives, bombs.

She silently tiptoes through the debris with her fist tight around
This free little hopeful glimmer of peace. She finds
A soft secret space underground and tucks it away to grow,

Take root, branch out, be fruitful, fulfil its living destiny:
The only way to win.

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Exodus by Ruth Osman

“Exodus: movement of Jah people!” – Bob Marley

That night,
we heard the wind
shaking the trees awake.

When we arose,
they were gone.

Broken earth
where they once stood,
stalwart.

Bloated silence
where birds once praised
a triumphant sun,

now labouring
up the sky’s stairs,
bilious light oozing
through the thickening air.

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This is my forest by Benjamin Guilfoyle

This is my forest.
I’ve known it all my life.
I know all it’s nooks and secrets.
Look!
I’ll show you – If you’d like?

Take my hand.
I’ll take the lead.
I’ll show you things you cannot see
with city eyes – so follow me.

Ancient trees and mossy rocks
I’ll show you how to climb and cross.
The fallen trees we’ll stoop beneath.
We’ll smell the freshly rained on leaves.
We’ll pick up sticks and make believe!

Like fresh green tea!
Don’t you find it refreshing?
Cleansing? Soothing?
Take a deep breath in!

Hold up those nostrils.
Savour the scent!
Potent. Ancient. Peaceful
and yet
it’s busy and bursting and bustling with life
and if you look hard enough with the right sort of eyes
you’ll see more than just trees.

You’ll see Gaia.
Divine.
Because this is her forest.
It’s not really mine.

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Sap by Elizabeth Gibson

The leaf swells with light, with water. Tiny tunnels,
threading, opening out. Pure life. I hold it to the sky,
sprawled on my back, at the top of the hill. The sun
is setting, the last notes of birdsong calling the time.
This is beauty – except, there is a murmuring now,
a catch, an eery smell on the air. I run a finger right
along the leaf vein and then press – and it explodes,
and I cry out, although it is only a little drop of sap.
It pools into my palm. I watch it run red, in the last
of the sun dipping downwards. In my mind, I can see
another vein bursting, vitality spilling out. I shudder.
Little pipes carry things we need, carry fuel to burn,
to keep trees and people alive. They say the pipeline
will do all that too, that the oil it will carry is needed,
and I want to believe that it can work, that it can hold.
The sky is purple now, first stars hesitantly glowing.
This is beauty, still – but I keep remembering the sap,
the snap, the explosion of fluid, and I know that soon,
beneath me, rivers of oil will flow in their metal vein
and I pray: please, please let it hold, let this stay.
For all
of our sakes,
Don’t let
it
break.

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The rainforest by Elinor G, Year 8 LGGS

Parakeets sing their songs of praise,
Rain droplets drip down from yesterday’s rain fall,
Making the leaves of exotic plants droop from the weight.
Thousands of Brazil nut trees and kapok trees loom high above, each tree with an inhabitant in,
From poison-dart frogs, to capybaras,
The rainforest is full of thriving life.
Flowers bloom open,
Wasps and bees fly around in search for pollen,
Capybaras and black howler monkeys drink from the small pools of water left from the rainfall.
Dirt covers the floor,
Poo droplets in trails leading to nowhere.
Rivers flowing with water that the animals of this forest drink from.
Piranhas swim in the rivers,
Eating anything that comes near them.
This is the forest that everything feels welcome,
This is their place they call home.

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In Trees by Rowland Crowland

In trees
You’ll notice the breeze
Lingers.
It brings things from far away,
Like, how the sea’s doing,
What the weather will be like today,
And whether to expect the rain.
In trees
There’s a sense of quiet living things
That’s pleasing.
Lineages of insects and invertebrates
Getting on with things,
At their ease.
In trees
There’s stillness and movement.
In trees
There’s life and death and rebirth,
From roots to leaves,
And in seeds
There’s almost timelessness.
In trees
There’s togetherness
And solitude,
And almost silence,
And cacophonous noise,
When the wind blows,
And each leaf shouts
With its own voice.
In trees,
All along,
There’s been bird song,
And the birds will tell you
What’s going on,
Even what is right
And what is wrong,
If you listen to them
In trees.

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Trees by Anita Chamberlain

There is a randomness to trees that makes them so much like people.
All…………..a variety of sizes, rough and smooth, hidden behind a bark of crackle.
Affected by nature, climate and life.

Taking the trunk as a strength of character.
Let the branches be experience and how they can reach out to others.
Do we reveal the emotions behind the bark? or stay hidden beneath the textures ?

Take, hide and expose the beauty of nature and kindness of life, the growth of yourself.
Be part of a forest, street or stand alone.

Reach out to drink the sunshine, grow from the inside to the outside.
Reach up to the galaxy and explore to see……………..just to see……….

Say nothing to others and live beyond your branches.

Give life, take cover and enjoy the beauty.
Touch others, but be strong to live close and yet away.
Be part of life, stay alone and reach up to the stars.
Grow, live and be independent .
Stand tall lovely trees and just be you !

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The Tree that Stayed by Jane Burn

My roots delve where sun does not go and mulch-voiced worms probe.
Rubber-slick and mucky nosed, they eat between my buried threads.
I take my time to grow and the taste of soil is good. These many years

I have learned much from this same patch of sky. My study has been
the infinite tones of blue, of grey—of scarlet sunsets, pink dawns.
I have contemplated night and what each spell of darkness means.

I wear the joy of birds upon my head. Their tittle-tattle thrills my leaves,
each one an ear, living-green and eager for the wonder of their song.
I hold their heartbeats gently, as clouds are carried upon the film

of a lulled pond. When they lift from my arms I wish them everything.
Autumn ends and cold takes my crown—each leaf lies at my foot,
nourishes my naked self. This is my time of great sleep, of needed rest.

I have taken the atmosphere of man, returned it refreshed. My form,
thrown against the dusk is balm. A poet’s ideals are birthed in the scratches
I leave upon the sky. It seems I am sunk into bleakness, yet spring comes

and I sprout new buds. Show you a way to re-live.