In violence
the yews, hewn,
Perform their shapes.

Upon the ridge
an old syncline
frog spawn, forgotten pheasants,
remnants from the end of The Ice,
our family, there…

… by the chimney
in walls, by Harold’s Cross,
they bear witness, for my brother.

Poison, for some reason,
well fertilized,
slow growers, they’ll outlast the tombs.

And yet,
familiarity breeds comfort
they are friendly, solid,
in their pure, dark, green.


Horse Chestnut, candelabras;
In Spring, mini trees upon trees;
White and pink flower cones;
Moving slowly in the breeze.

I once convinced
a boy of unsure stock
that they lived, just like him:
a look of pure shock.

Set squared by buses,
bursting by ev’ry street light;
they measure the seasons,
a familiar sight.

We stored conkers
this year, each sprouted a shoot.
A new tree from each, perhaps,
we’ll allow them take root.


By the dappled bank,
Crouched over the black canal ~
A roof formed, a path.

The weeping willows,
They know only how to take ~
Are never giving.

Those beneath in groups,
as often not; each their own ~
Best be passerby.

A root, part submerged.
There lies a bee, in stillness ~
No longer working.

I gravitate there –
Looking for something, once lost ~
They can’t give it back.


That Birch is your friend –
of that much be sure;
In offense or defense,
its loyalty is pure.

Its life giving sap –
Its fire friendly skin –
Its dappled striped bark –
Its promise within.

A beaker, a spear;
A cure for your ills;
Food from its bark;
Paper for wills.

That Birch is your friend,
both young and old,
will be true, as long,
As ours rules our road.