In the centre of the circle grew a great Oak Tree,
Tall and strong for all to see.
The forest and soil so nutured its growth
Sunlight and rain its bread and wine-
until the day the builders came,
Stripping branches to build their frames;
Leaves to paper, sticks to flame.
Around the Tree, a temple rose
Nothing was spared as fate had chose;
Its bark was stripped, its surface wrought
To form the centre of what was sought-
A Pillar it was, from something small
A pillar that held the hallowed halls,
Painted roofs now littered with Leaves
of the other workmen, other trees.
The insects sapped its bark and bone
leaving the Oak to dry and hard,
Its trunk was rigid, its bark was stone
To work the works and guard the guards;
To become a Pillar of what once had life
that gave its life to protect more lives,
To become the shelter that gives them proof
against the rain, and heaven's cries.
To become a Pillar, centre of all
silent to prayers and fortune's call,
While outside the facade stood
Hiding a centre of ancient wood.
More pillars were rose, forged of stone;
Iron and silver and fine-smithed gold
To support the roof, now heavy with leaves
Yet their touch was icy cold.
The crowds do come, to pray for home
Pray for the leaves their branches grow-
Their eyes raise up to see the dome
And hence ignore the pillars so.
Silently now, in its humble abode
Surrounded by tables, their surfaces old,
The pillar stands, remembering days
where it once did grow, with leaves of praise;
Reached for the sun, and moon and stars
Reached for the clouds still way up far-
Now its roots are dead, its leaves long lost
The temple is all it ever was;
Yet still it holds the roof up proud
Quiet as always, within the crowd.