two nobles

Oak and Holly

There are a lot of Holly trees my local woods. Not that you’d notice during the summer, when the other trees flounce about in their finery. Lately, I’ve noticed Holly’s re-emergence as one of the dominant personalities of the woodlands as we spin further into autumn.

The above photograph is of a Holly tree growing under an Oak which I took yesterday. In Irish lore there were four classifications of trees, the highest being Airig Fedo, or Nobles of the Wood. There were seven trees in that caste, including Oak and Holly.

As I considered the mythology of trees, as well as this image of the two nobles standing beside each other, it inspired this:

Two Nobles

Noble Oak –
August champion,
Memory’s storehouse –
Armoured in summer’s greens
You sheltered Holly
From violent heat.
Now, your leaves,
Rusted by rain,
Shrink as your sap slows.

Noble Holly –
Winter’s warrior,
Evergreen, ever-vigilant –
You stand steadfast
Under the bare, frosted boughs
Of your sleeping kin.
Guarding their peace
Until Spring’s bright clarion
Signals your rest.

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