White Lightning & Oaks



She watched them come and go, the humans.
In spring she’d wear her soft skirt of silver
with its wisps of pink to yellow bangles, falling
down among the growth of rooted life that she,
the lady of this forest held to know her kind;
in autumn she’d trade her finery for purple rags,
the slow dance against the coming of winter’s livery;
yet, in May you can see her wear her flowery cape,
the yellow spangles of her bright leaves aglow;
she always did have to beware of those moonshiners,
who chased her down in her white gown taking her
to that hidden place within those mountains far between.
Even now as I taste this white lightning crowning,
I touch the Lady’s woody life in my hand, and stir it.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Note: Quercus alba, or the White Oak is still used for whiskey barrels and as part of the old moonshiners barrels, although many have turned to copper and other containers, the white oak is still used widely in both the wine and whiskey industry as part of the aging process. Some White Oak’s live upward of 450 years or so. I’ve been doing a series of tree poems over the past weeks in my interest to see how the old Celtic cultures may have at one time envisioned trees as part of their Tree Alphabet system as argued in Robert Graves The White Goddess. 

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