The Blue Tree
”These poems are exquisitely crafted, woven together with subtle cadences, half rhymes, delicious details, unexpected similes. Yet beneath their elegance and grace lies a deeply felt humanity, a passion and gratitude for nature, landscape, enduring love, that is all the more profound for being understated and beautifully contained.”
“The natural world is often the touchstone of these elegant and supple lyrics. Poems that hinge on a bird or a tree offer up small epiphanies which illuminate the parallel journeys of the human creature. These are poems of tenderness and quiet beauty that know just how little needs to be said.”
"Whether drawing on present experience, memory, visual art or reading, he makes it real, in a seamless weave of thought, perception and emotion.”
Published: 21 June 2019 by Indigo Dreams Publishing
Pages: 74 Softback
Price: £9.99 +p&p
The Lone Tree of Loos
What matters is not that this landmark was a singleton,
self-sown, a range-finder they took pot shots at
over the barbed wire, in what became for them no-man's-land.
What matters is not that its scarred limbs would cradle
for three days or more the body of an officer
machine-gunned while raising his country's standard there.
What matters is not the million other trees of Flanders
felled for duckboards and ammunition boxes,
nor the Chinese labourers alongside lumberjacks and foresters.
What matters is not the name – einsamer Baum, arbre solitaire –
nor the remnants, the museum pieces,
the replanting eighty years on, the rooting in earth-memory.
What matters, beyond the white algebra of these cemeteries,
is this one wild cherry – 'loveliest of trees…'
What washes up in the forest is no less
a wonder than the flotsam of oceans.
Take this skeleton of an upturned ark
stranded among a reach of ash trees,
beached in leaf litter, its ribs and spars
secured by a rigging of twiggy larch,
tangles of plaited honeysuckle, all
leaning in as though wanting to give ear
to silence, breathe the wood’s cool must.
Some Crusoe surely built this, laid limbs
against a fallen ridgepole, wove vines
and brushwood, spread out a bed of brash,
learned how stillness is a state of mind,
here where things slither, drip and flinch.