Data with a Soul

The power of stories and other symbols to enable us to connect to our deeper wisdoms,to

help us access other perspectives has been a theme for me of late. I loved  Brene Brown's description of stories as data with a soul. And this week I have also reflected on the power of images and poetry to do that too. The perfect image or poem is able to bring insights just outside of our awareness; to be open enough for us to paint on our own landscapes of discovery. It's left me with a commitment to use imagery and poetry more in my work. I would love to hear about the poems that move you in some way.

And it was this poetic flow that led me to write the simple poem below. It's a tribute to an ancient tree in the grounds of Hawkwood, it's thought to be the oldest sycamore in the UK. Recently it lost a major branch and some of it sits nestled beside its roots. Some work will be done now by registered experts to prevent any further damage to the tree, it will be trimmed and protected with loving care;it's age, it's very preciousness.

I wonder how different our world would be if we treated our older people with such reverence. If we too could see their beauty through their broken branches and only allow experts to restore their health with tender care. What can we learn from this ancient sycamore?

The Sycamore in Hawkwood

The Sycamore

The oldest in the park

Stands tall and beautiful

Precarious branches stretch out

Home for curious squirrels

And birds shelter in their regal home

A stream nestles underneath

Water finding its way above ground

To feed this fertile grove

Visitors make a rhythmic path

To its roots, bedded under the tree

A tree of life it is

And yet it's broken too

The ancient trunk with a limb cleaved off

It's sits there, a reminder of what has been

A huge scar it's tribute

 A flaw in its ancient presence

And yet still part of its splendour

A reminder of its resilience

A knowing of a simple truth

It's who I am and that's enough


  1. I too love that quote by brene brown! It really is wonderful. And I love your poem - is this the first of your poems you've shared on your blog? I was really moved by it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I found myself drawn to the tree and a poem felt the best way to express it. I'm glad it moved you too. Xx

  2. dear Audrey,

    such a lovely poem. don't you just love it when you feel your heart swell with such inspiration? thank you for sharing it.

    much love,

    Karen xoxo


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