Paintings & Drawings > Faces & Figures

The Oak Is Waiting
The Oak Is Waiting
acrylic on canvas
20 x 20"
2022

SOLD

Please contact me with the title of or link to this piece if you are interested in commissioning something similar to it.

This painting is part of an online exhibit at Lark & Key Gallery called Lyrical. It is inspired by the song "Oak" from the Spell Songs ensemble. The song was adapted from the poem "Oak" in the book The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. I painted the leaves and acorns of a white oak, and included myself among them and the cecropia moth. Oak trees are one of the greatest plants we can have in our gardens, as they provide food and shelter for a myriad of animals.

"Oak" lyrics by Kris Drever:

The hull of the ship that ploughs the sea
The ink that keeps our history
The axes haft that fells the tree

The Poplar is the whispering tree
And the Rowan is the sheltering tree
The willow is the weeping tree
And the Oak is waiting

The fire burns and it makes this home
Built around these seasoned bones
The chair pulled up beside the hearth
And the sleepers of the iron path

(Chorus and the sound of the Edinburgh School’s Climate Strike 2019)

The wheel that makes the seasons turn
The beasts that shelter in the barn
This table that we sing around
And the casket we put in the ground

The Poplar is the whispering tree
And the Rowan is the sheltering tree
The willow is the weeping tree
And the Oak is waiting

Sanji saba ea kan balu
Sanji nani ea man balu
Sanji kononto ea man balu
Iyeh iyeh

Sanji kononto ea man balu
Sanji nani ea man balu
Sanji saba ea man balu
Sanji nani ea man balu yeh
Sanji kononto ah Iyeh iyeh
Sanji kononto ea man balu
Iyeh iyeh yeh
Sanji sama ea man balu
Sanji saba iyeh iyeye

Three hundred years to grow
Three hundred more to thrive
Three hundred years to die
Nine hundred years alive

Translation from Mandinka:
Three hundred years to grow
Three hundred more to thrive
Three hundred years to die
Nine hundred years alive
Indeed, yes indeed

"Oak" poem by Robert Macfarlane:

Out on the hill, old Oak still stands:
stag-headed, fire-struck, bare-crowned,
stubbornly holding its ground.

Poplar is the whispering tree,
Rowan is the sheltering tree,
Willow is the weeping tree,
and Oak is the waiting tree.

Three hundred years to grow,
three hundred more to thrive,
three hundred years to die -
nine hundred years alive.

Ancient Oak hears with ancient ears,
sees with ancient eyes; the snow
of another winter, the glow of a
new sunrise.

Birch is the watching tree,
Cherry is the giving tree,
Ash is the burning tree,
and Oak is the waiting tree.

Three hundred years to grow,
three hundred more to thrive,
three hundred years to die -
nine hundred years alive.

Knot shows through silver grain,
silver grain through bark;
but each fresh spring brings
oak-green leaves again.

Holly is the witching tree,
Beech is the writing tree,
Elder is the quickening tree,
and Oak is the waiting tree.

Three hundred years to grow,
three hundred more to thrive,
three hundred years to die -
nine hundred years alive.