Introduction by Lucy Lilley. Poem by Ben Lilley. Photo by Ben Lilley.
Most recently I wrote Dear Sylvia, love Sylvia, a short fictional story originally inspired by an ancient oak tree that stands at my mother’s farm in Shropshire. A few years back, whilst visiting, I showed my husband, Pablo (an accomplished photographer and photophile) the oak and he took a beautiful photo of it. It’s always been a go to, to sit under it and look at the provincial view of rolling hills and forest, a place to clear my thoughts and a place that has given all members of my family peace and tranquility. So naturally, when entering a writing competition last year, it was once again my go to, but in a story as sadly, due to the Global lockdown in early 2020, I couldn’t return there.
As I was building this blog, I suddenly thought it would be nice to share it with others in my family who love to write, so I approached my brother Ben, who is a poet and performer, hoping he’d contribute something and to my surprise, he promptly sent me a poem about the same tree, which was an amazing coincidence because I hadn’t told him about my planned story post entitled Dear Sylvia. Hence, my brother sharing this, feels so extra special to me, as somehow we’ve reconnected through a common theme. God bless that Oak! Well here it is, The Lonely Tree Poem by Ben of the Green;
The Lonely Tree
Hey you! Over there!
Come over here!
Because I think you’re cool!
Just climb up here, and sit on a spare branch.
Oooooooh! Mind your shoes! Are you wearing steel toe caps?
That’s alright. I’m an oak, we are built to last.
Why are your leaves still here?
Well……..I am not like the others…..
Do you have a portal inside of you?
I mean… is there a doorway to another world hidden amongst your bark?
( Kids these days) If you must know… I am a dead man.
Mum talked about this only yesterday!
Your mum’s connected to the outer plains?
She went to London once.
Hmmm…..yeah that’s the same as astral projecting I suppose.
Is this like reincarnation?
You hit the nail on the head lad!
Why a tree?
Best shape to think in.
I would have chosen a tiger.
Well……….you’re not me.
Don’t you get bored?
The birds and squirrels gossip on me from time to time.
Like dinner ladies.
Yeah lad , like dinner ladies.
Poem by Benjamin Lilley.
Copyright. © 2021 Benjamin Lilley