The beam above the ingle nook
was old and black and gnarled.
I sat by the fire and pondered
the story that beam revealed
Centuries back a stately oak
was humbled before the axe,
reduced to planks by a two-man saw
and shaped with aching backs.
A mighty ship was constructed
in urgent need for Britain at war.
The ship saw service on many an ocean
before retirement on a friendly shore.
Timber was always needed
so the vessel was swiftly raided;
stripped of planks and beams –
homes were soon completed.
The signs are there above the hearth,
square bolts date the broken ship,
built so long ago –
by carved graffiti identity fixed.
Now that beam is hearth and home
as valued a part of our life
as ever it was through war and strife
but first, it was a tree.
18.1.14 for dVerse, who want a tree poem. A ten-minute freewrite left me with lots of ideas, but this story from our home in the eighties allowed me to explore more than just trunk, branches, leaves and fruits, so I ran with it. In the morning I may be able to put my hands on a photograph of that beam.