The Only Oak

Fr La’s weekly ‘Pause and Ponder’ from along the Pilgrim Path at Lough Derg. This week’s reflection, ‘The Only Oak’.


The Path has beech aplenty in a lovely line

along the shore, but one great oak alone

commands the fork where the ancient route veers off

from the modern forest road.

Week on week, through all the month of May

I watched bare branches put on summer garb

til the see-through spaces filled at last with green.

Her shape recalls an earlier phase of life

when competition with surrounding firs

(now long since harvested) forced up and up

the mighty growth of trunk til her crown could spread.

No forest planner’s planting work was this.

Whence came the acorn that began it all?

Fr La Flynn

14 June 2021


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