this oak is

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really struck by how colourful the oak trees I see on my morning walks are at this time of year, with their wild orangey-red foliage so different to the surrounding trees heavy green. So here’s a poem I wrote in my head about those oaks this morning. The images are from Tom’s Range project.
Edited to add: thanks to those who have sent links to the phenomenon of oak trees putting out fresh new orangey leaves in July and August – Lammas growth

This oak is

This oak is
most itself when seeming
to speak
of other seasons

First leaf among
the last in spring
as yellow as

Verdant July
draws all colours to itself:
scarlet and bronze, it
glows in unexpected flame

Yet, while birch and beech are turning
it’s fresh as
June’s green

In hoar frost and mist
this oak carols out
May’s blossomy joy
from the heart of December

And, in February’s dim bunting
of usnea and moss, it
flies the promise of
borrowing days

In speaking of
other seasons,
this oak is
most itself when seeming

July 5th, 2020