Poem 17: Chestnuts and Cleaning Up; 26 poem challenge

Pollarded old chestnuts supply lots of fallen branches.

This poem is a reflection on our very old chestnut tree orchards and the need to ‘clean’ up between the spaced trees. For many years I have left lots of areas to just grow and little chestnut forests abound. A well spaced orchard is in contrast to the way trees grow in a wild forest. As always thanks to Dverse poets who rekindled my muse some years ago. There are always good poems to discover there and inspiring prompts. https://dversepoets.com



An abandoned and ancient chestnut








Chestnut Orchards and Wild Forest

How does the ancient chestnut feel, on its own,

Without its young growing up around it?

For centuries, it keeps on trying to not die alone.

Trees planted out at even spaces in the wrong places.

In between  too much light not shade

For the new chestnuts to be made.

The trees own sweet fruit must delve down deep

And grow the root, the stem, the leaf.

But the young are cursed and must be cleaned

For never will it grow the fruit we want to eat.

Old chestnut trees in the Sierra Aracena







The wild now grows between those planted trees,

Unkempt, unruly, a wide variety of lives

Breathing, green but dirty children

For  here  wild abandon thrives,

Tall thin pine, brushed thick ivy vine,

Arbutus Unedo with red fruit, wild glow

Light metal viburnum berries, turpentine

And thin young chestnuts take their time.

Tree time and the old ones no longer weep

As they feel the roots  meet up in the deep.

Jungle with thorns on finca







To call the land dirty when it is full of green

‘Su ci o*’ may  sound sweeter to the ear

Than the one that rings with unclean

And all the range of life we love to ‘lim pi o’*


Forgive us trees as we do not know

How to live and how to grow.

Chestnut flowers







I am slowing down on the 26 poems so might need to speed up. There is always plenty to write about at Navasola and plenty to do! The heat is in abeyance and has gone to London where it is hotter than Seville. Trees could be our saviours in this climate race to the hottest places, especially the oldest ones. But with threats in the Amazon again of worse fires and the proposed destruction in India of an ancient forest in order to mine poor grade  coal ahttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/08/india-prime-minister-narendra-modi-plans-to-fell-ancient-forest-to-create-40-new-coal-field

And of course in the U.K. ancient trees are felled for the HS2 train link which will cut a journey time by half an hour but destroy some of the little ancient woodland we have left here.

We must be hopeful and active in this struggle for the heart of nature. Please help a nature charity  by sponsoring my challenge and it will keep me going!



* sucio is Spanish for ‘dirty’ and wild, abandoned areas are referred to by this word. Limpio is the word for clean. And so instead of clearing as we do in English we clean the land. In reality we destroy a lot of habitats for our attempts at farming.


Reforestation needed, old chestnut trees in abandoned woods

24 thoughts on “Poem 17: Chestnuts and Cleaning Up; 26 poem challenge”

  1. That’s a brilliant poem and beautiful! I sometimes wonder about trees myself as if they were alive as we are.
    There’s one thing I didn’t understand, “And of course in the U.K. ancient trees are felled for the HS2 train link which will cut a journey time by half an hour but destroy some of the little ancient woodland we have left here.”
    What is a HS2 train link?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a new high speed railway line that has to run straighter than the existing ones. We are a small country but have some old Victorian tracks that go round bends well! So we continue to cut down old forest, protected but for the so called greater good or speed.


  2. I love this poem!
    Many don’t realize that trees are also social being, and require a strong community to thrive. The “mess” of plants actually combine underground to share nutrients and information with each other. This is vital for their growth.

    I’ve read of trees that support the stumps of felled trees stay alive like this.

    “Forgive us trees as we do not know
    How to live and how to grow.”

    Sums it up pretty well.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am so angry about the HS2 woodland clearance! I wrote to my MP about it, prompted by one of the petitions I signed and all I got was a pro-forma reply stating that the decision had been made and there was nothing I could do about it. The decision was right for the country and a ‘green corridor’ will be planted to replace the trees felled to make way for the rail line. Ugh! What good is a green corridor? I cannot see why we need high-speed trains that will only add minutes to a journey. I also cannot see that businesses will be wanting to send their employees on business trips for much longer. Teleconferences are much cheaper and easy to arrange. I can see that sending goods by train is better than sending them by road but a high-speed line is not necessary for goods transportation.
    I do love your thoughtful and beautiful poem, Georgina!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh well said, Clare, my thoughts and just so perplexed by how this will sort out our public transport system. I read about how our civil service and government have from the Thatcher years lost the capacity for strategic thinking and future planning. We are now suffering from this in too many ways but to fell these ancient woodlands in the name of ‘green’ is the green washing we now need to fight against too.. Hope all going well, I am back in UK but not making a ‘public’ post on that for a while. Am enjoying some time with grandchild and waiting for the next to arrive end of September.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How exciting to be expecting another grandchild! I hope all goes well.
        Yes, all is going well, thank you. Our elder daughter has been staying with us this week. It has been wonderful seeing her again after so long. Take care, Georgina xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Splendid, thoughtful poem and photos. I believe as Celts do — that trees are spiritual beings with unique souls.

    Forgive us trees as we do not know
    How to live and how to grow.

    I hope they can forgive humankind for being such negligent stewards and care-takers. We have a lot to learn from trees.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Georgina, a moving poem to the ancient woodlands and the woes they suffer at the hands of humankind. Your words capture the angst many feel at the lack of care of the woodland and your post highlights the tragedy of so much destruction of the precious ancient woods that survive. Reading the eloquent comments you have touched a nerve.

    Having worked for many years in the timber trade I learnt directly from the forest owners in Sweden how a well-managed industry can enhance the local Inhabitat and there is actually more forest in the country (about 80%) compared to 100 years ago. It is a disgrace how companies and governments speak the words about the environment and then promptly ignore their own sayings!

    BTW, it must be great for you to be back in the UK with your family for a while and how exciting about a new grandchild on the way – hope all goes well and enjoy having a newborn around!

    Take care. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Annika, yes it is good to be with family again. There is such a ‘greenwashing’ attitude to the environment. HS2 ploughs ahead in its straight line thinking announcing that it will all be better for the environment. Yes, they will attempt to plant more trees but how many years does it take to grow a forest. We do have good planning skills, strategic thinking but have politicians without any of these. Difficult times but hopeful too as most want the climate crisis to be addressed. Look forward to a good look at your website and congrats for all your success.

      Liked by 1 person

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