Remembering Acorns

08 Oct
for Chris Rooke
revision posted 3 Dec 11:
Remembering Acorns in Hornchurch

in the long sunny morning of boyhood
they found running water
under the oaks.  from the
aromatic soil they collected acorns,
pulled off the caps and
whittled down the nuts.*
they raced the cups
and canoes under the
footbridge until
the sweet stream separated them
when they crossed paths,
hove to,
berthed side by side,
in the balmy evening
they found that the
acorns had caught hold
deep within
hold the nut between the cushion at the tip of the

and the knuckles of the
long finger
balance it with the tip of the
index finger
with a pen-knife remove
that which is not a canoe
In the long hot mornings of boyhood
they found running water under the oaks
at the bottom of the parkland.  From the
aromatic earth they dug up acorns,
pulled off the caps, and whittled down the nuts.
Holding one between the knuckles of the
longest finger and the thumb cushion, they
removed that which was not a canoe. They
raced cups and canoes under the footbridge
until the sweet stream separated them.
When they hove to again
in the late evening
they found that in boyhood
the acorns had caught hold
by subterranean
waters deep within them.
words of honour from Hillaire Belloc:
“I will hold my house in the high wood 
Within a walk of the sea, 
And the men that were boys when I was a boy 
Shall sit and drink with me. 

Posted by on 8 October, 2011 in POEMS


5 responses to “Remembering Acorns

  1. Thomas Davis

    3 December, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    This reminds me so much of my boyhood in Grand Junction, Colorado, a long way from where you raced acorn boats in a stream. The craft and art of this is well-done. It is guaranteed to bring up memories and to set them sailing in to “subterranean/waters deep within them.” I honor this.

  2. j dub

    3 December, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you Thomas. I expect that you could tell that it was structured around a sonnet form. i am about to edit the post and copy in a revision which I have just submitted to my workshop circle. If you get time, please tell me what you think …

  3. John Stevens

    16 December, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    There’s a lovely nostalgic feeling to this, and a very satisfying interweaving of then & now, of a day and a life, of stream and time. It leaves the reader playing with the idea of those acorns – they can be both a simple, tangible illustration of childhood games, or a symbol of childhood itself … or maybe more.
    I hadn’t known you could make canoes out of acorns – so that’s a bonus (a Boy’s Own Practical Lesson!).

    • j dub

      16 December, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      thanks very much, John. It’s been a while since I actually whittled an acorn – maybe I should do it more often …

  4. The Purple

    23 December, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    love acorns, what a divine write.

    Excellent post.
    Happy Holidays….
    I know you write stunning Haiku, welcome sharing with us,
    1 to 3 or more are welcome.
    no theme.
    Hope to see you in,


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