End of last summer I was asked by my mate, Rob Penn, to dismantle an Ash at Llanvihangel Court. Lovely woodland there. The purpose was to make a film for Radio 4 to smash up on the BBC News 24 site (or something like that!); a promo option for his lovely book, The Man Who Made Things Out Of Trees. A story of how vital and integral the Ash is to humanity, only one tree in so many.
Rob is good at seeking out nice trees, and the one at Llanvihangel was early mature, a slight lean and not a lot of taper up to the crown. I reckon we laid a sixty foot stick down, and the other company there that day, Martin Fraser, with his Wood Mizer milled the cord there and then, and Bart Bagnell made some spoons and spatulas, and fashioned a sweet little Oak wedge for my grandfather's hatchet and brought that tool back to life.
I had been thinking about what it is to harvest trees, to cut by hand, and the connection I make with every tree I take. I wrote this little rhyme.
Making the bond
The cut that breaks the ring
that would have bound the year
takes a soul from air,
a prayer from earth
yellow and redden down of cool green flames
that curled out of the gold of their first change.
like a sting
with the work.