Haibun: Pulse of the Ancients

a brindle whippet sniffing the moss on the trunk of an ancient oak tree

September’s sun dapples through green and ochre leaves as the path meanders past a three-hundred-year-old sycamore, still standing strong. A few dog-less people make a fuss of Misty as she skips past them to the sunny side of the wood. A robin sings his heart out on a garden fence, where the path passes a few houses. We cross a small wooden bridge over the burn, one side of the water green with algae. Once we turn left, we see her.

Birnam Oak
six hundred years old and more
this autumn

close up of the bark and lichen of an ancient oak tree

One of the last living relics from a medieval forest that once grew here, her girth is around seven metres. The oak’s lower branches are so heavy they are supported by stilts and part of the trunk is hollow.

Shakespeare is said to have visited this area in 1589 when he was an actor and later immortalised the wood in his play Macbeth. This tree would have been mature when Shakespeare walked here. Touching the bark with my left hand, I feel a pulse that gets stronger and stronger the longer I leave it there, filling my palm with heat that travels down my arms and my spine, as if they are branches.

then and now
a mild south-easterly
tingles the leaves

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022

Birnam Oak, lower section in the warm September sun

I am guest-hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets tonight and the bar opens at 8pm GMT.

Wishing you all a happy Monday,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Frame

dVerse Poets: Haibun Monday – September Song