Climbing Trees

Scruffed up trousers, dirty knees,
Today we’re outside climbing trees.
Ancient oaks on the village green
And Sycamores by the old mill stream.

Tall and strong, these sky-stairs stand
Proud old watchers on the land,
Nodding slightly in the breeze
“come and climb up if you please”.

The hardest part is getting going,
Finding footholds, slipping, slowing
Faces press against the bark,
Hugging tree trunks in the park.

And then we reach the lower boughs
With dripping sweat upon our brows,
Here we rest, take in the view,
And climb on up, refreshed anew.

Higher, higher, don’t look down!
But straight ahead, to the distant town
Or out to sea and the fishing boats,
With sailors in their overcoats.

This hallowed place, here in the tree
Just me, the air, the land, the sea.

So after sitting still for hours,
It’s time to climb down these watchtowers,
Slow at first, then in a rush,
We slide, then skid, our faces blush.

The world above is in retreat
And then we’re back upon on our feet.
The world around looks different now,
My viewpoint has been changed somehow,

You’re never quite the same you see,
Once you climb down from a tree.

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