Oh, Rowan! Fine, sturdy tree!
Won’t you grow beside our house
to repel wayward spirits wishing harm?
Mischievous fae; witches
threatening to curse family, crops
Your clusters of cream flowers
invoke days full of joy,
and each sour, scarlet fruit
wards against malevolence.
From the silvery grey of your bark
to your feather-like leaflets,
you could shield our grounds from unsavoury folk
without even trying.
In return, we’ll protect you
from woodcutters’ metallic bites,
mulch the ground by your roots,
restrict the harvesting of your berries
(which, you should be proud to hear,
make wonderfully tart jam)
so each thrush, redstart, blackbird and waxwing
who visits won’t starve.
Dear fid na ndruad,
I don’t believe you acknowledge
how wonderful you are:
spoons turned from your fallen wood
keep milk from curdling,
a charm of bark in our pocket
eases rheumatic limbs,
and when we find our path unclear,
you’re the key that helps us divine.
So please, I know it’s a lot to ask,
but would you kindly indulge us
one last time?
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!