Photo: Forest by George Hodan
I live close to Sherwood Forest, and have visited it many times. To me, its magic lies in pure natural beauty, rather than the dated tourist attractions of the Visitor Centre and nearby fairground. I wanted the poem to contrast the two different ‘worlds’.
Where is the Spirit of the Forest?
Is it in the peeling fairground
with the permanent “end of season” look?
Or is in the ‘Major Oak’?
Given life support, but stripped of dignity.
Ready to leave its crown,
but ambushed by the present-day sheriffs,
who want their taxes paid.
A major landmark? It’s just another tree
that fictional Robin didn’t hide in.
No river bridge to fight on,
noisy teenagers drown the friendly woodland babble.
In this green and pleasant land,
today’s outlaws steal the peace.
Chasing, shouting and laughing,
children play with their plastic bows and arrows,
their authentic Taiwanese souvenirs.
Subdued parents trickle charge their weekday batteries,
nature’s well being never-ending.
In the daily struggle,
the Forest’s Spirit wins the day.