Heartwood

‘Lost Word’ Oak

poem robert macfarlane


“Heartwood:” a tree’s heartwood is its innermost core. I wrote this poem (song, charm-against-harm) for any tree anywhere that faces unjust felling – and especially for the trees of Sheffield. The art is by Nick Hays and is free to use, print, speak, sing … Please share.”

‘Heartwood’, the opening track on the Spell Songs album,

is a turning and whittling of the Heartwood poem by Robert Macfarlane, a ‘charm against harm’ inspired by the Save Sheffield Trees campaign, which he wrote in response to the unjust felling of trees in the city.

The Lost Worlds Spell Songs features Karine Polwart, Seckou Keita
Music. Jim Molyneux

Lyrics:

Would you hew me to the heartwood cutter?

Would you lay me low beneath your feet?

Listen to my sad mutter

Hear my heartwood beat

Would you throw me on the log-pile cutter?

Would you toss me to the steel sawblade?

Listen to my leaves flutter

Hear my heartwood break

Would you lean your back against me cutter

Would you rest your axe awhile and sleep

Listen to the song I utter

Hear my heartwood weep

Hear my heartwood 

heartwood 

Hear my heartwood 

I drink the rain

The eat the sun

I give the breath that fills your lungs

I hear the roaring engines thrum

I  cannot run

Would you hew me to the heartwood cutter?

Would you lay me low beneath your feet?

Listen to my sad mutter

Hear my heartwood beat

Hear my heartwood 

heartwood 

Hear my heartwood 

Heartwood trail

Jackie Morris’ beautiful spiral has been stamped onto plywood to make charms and medallions, some of which now hang on threatened street trees. There’s even a trail you can follow to spot them.

https://ticl.me/Dore-Sheffield/headlines/13580/view

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