From Small Acorns Mighty Oak Trees Grow

A poem arising from a Wandering Words commission to make some writing in response to the Lordswood area of Medway

From Small Acorns Mighty Oak Trees Grow

(Description: acorns, health & fitness brochure)


There, amongst the trees, the Leisure Centre

providing for the unity of mind and body

mantras from East and West

yoga, pilates, bums and tums, zumba.

Pay your subscription, choose a package

Commuter, Family, Premier, Corporate

invigorate your heartbeat, lower your cholesterol.

What would our ancestors say, should they return

to this fast-paced world, this leisure

our modern comforts – bus rides, movies, cafes, pubs

so far removed from the exercise of a working life

dawn to dusk weeding, hoeing, coppicing

digging, planting, washing, scrubbing, chopping

building fences, mixing wattle, daub

digging trenches, making charcoal, hunting


the long treks from Lordswood

to Chatham on foot, with geese or sheep, or pigs

by bicycle, by horse and cart, by charabanc

in wind or rain or snow uphill and down?


Imagine this – oak trees falling, a working woodland

cleared for concrete, steel, suntans, saunas…

but needing still the power of names

the spirit of kestrels invoked, our bodies wild and pumping

soaring .