Tree Song

Mother Tree, Memory Tree, Tree of Time and Tree of Music, Tree of Love and Tree of Sorrow, Tale that’s told In motionless mime. I threw rocks at the apple…

The Friendship Tree

now’s this Christmas tree of fairy-lights. From forest-dark to bright-lit square this tree has sailed across the sea – a present sent for friendship’s sake, from them to us, for…

The Christmas Tree’s Secret

Artwork from the Christmas Tree banner in 2016, designed by Peter Austin Gather round: I’ve a tale to tell. If you’ve ears to hear, then listen well. In the frosty…

The Kindness of Trees

The tree dropped a pine. And every time a girl got mad, The tree roared in the wind.   In the dead mid-winter night, The tree blew a hello, goodbye;…

The Secret Song of the Tree

Artwork from the Christmas Tree banner in 2015, designed by Kate Austin   Step closer, please, and hear my song. It won’t take long, it won’t take long. I hold…

Icicles Round a Tree in Dumfriesshire

…spiral of touch and go, Lightning licking a tree Imagining itself Aretha Franklin Singing “You make me feel like a natural woman” In basso profondo, Firing the bark with its…

How I’ll Decorate My Tree

It was still very far from Christmas When my momma said to me: Tell me, Precious, what you going to hang On our Christmas tree? I said: the fairy-lights that…

Conversation with a Myoman Tree

pestle And the tree said it was a myoma. The tree asked me who I was So I told it I’m a Hustlement – I go to gauze. The tree

Decorating the Tree

I am your tree. I grew in the north, Year by year in the seasoned earth. Sift, white shift, snowflakes, stars: I was storm-shelter for carolling birds. Dear creatures, what…

The Apple Tree

…time to convince me to come down: I wanted to live there in the tree forever. I’ve never stopped climbing trees. I know now that youth doesn’t leave: you told…

Ber Lin

…forest). Draw the character for ‘tree’, and then another character for ‘tree’, like this . And as for the ‘ber’, I had to look it up in the dictionary. Another tree

Tree Talk

…eye can follow. We are water, wood, sunlight; We are tree. We sense everything: The languid pop of mushrooms at our roots, The prickle of new leaves stiffening on our branches,…

A tree

you can do many things with this tree paint it with an original colour or sketch it in your mind as if it were a river cut it down with…

The Game: Christmas Day, 1914

It is so cold. The lines of this poem are sinking Into the unforgiving mud. No clean sheet. Dawn on a perishing day. The weapons freeze In the…

Undress

There is an ash tree behind this house. You can see it from our bedroom window. If you stare at it for long enough, you’ll see it drop a leaf….

Growing a Tree: Five Songs

1. I’m a sapling And I want to know the answers. Why do my leaves move when the wind blows? Why does the sun shine so brightly And…

Look into My Lights

…grandma by candlelight slipping chestnuts into stockings, as children nest in my scent with dreams full of presents. Look into my lights. Now I’m a Christmas tree. Now I’m a…

A Therapist Learns about Nesting

One bird from fence to grass to fence to holly tree to wall to grass to holly tree brown flicker, lick of red a second still an eye. Crows come…

Birdwatching

My window is a book of birds. I draw back the curtains and there they all are, scribbling their lives in the trees. Today seems to be about magpies, how…

I didn’t like him when I first saw him

…say,  I was indifferent to him on the nineteenth  But mad in love by Christmas day. I even said those sacred words  Those holy three:  I love you.  And you…

Wish List

I woke up from late afternoon slumber Caught you, hands curled in action Back arched against the Christmas tree Eyes gleaming towards the waning December sun You clutched a Yankee…

Layers of Kant reveal:

The clouded mind is Kant without his hair extensions, his eyelash curler. We met last night and he was like Christmas, sad, a tree. Kant told me to toss my…

Winter Solstice

I will not write about Christmas lights garlanding the tree, how steadily red blends to sapphire  emerald  gold, how strong the little bulbs must be to throw their dancing hearts…

Feast

…a leftover diamond to win: a treasured crown of turkey for one, or a partridge hung from pear-tree heights. another’s satisfied by a plucky pigeon; it roamed the streets, pecking…

Love in the Time of Cold

Before the dawn that walks the northern morning from the moors; before the swans sing winter on and cough the fog upon the ponds, we ask that through the Christmas

Jack

Every family has one somewhere on the tree, slipping out late with a cardboard suitcase, enough to pay his passage. Or slamming out, cracking the plaster, waking neighbours who keep…

ju ju baby

…F I S H I N G ! ! I laugh till I fall out of tree             Wait   let me paint picture   you drive north      in her car     lazy…

Gift of the Sloth

…a tree (in wind, hail or heat) because your life depends on it. Even though your muscles are weak as ribbons, your eyes sightless buttons. It means improvising for rain:…

Kiyoshi and the Maple

…the tree was one shuffling testimony of love for the Shogun’s daughter. Together they sat an hour reading the tree. A thousand poems came and went. Kiyoshi’s proud, elegant brushstrokes…

Roots

Like a poem around a tree Like a freedom flag unfurled A homeless refugee I have travelled round the world I remember slanted mountains with dusted white peaks ivory snow…

Vinden belg sakte (The wind bellows softly)

…in a gust. Washing-dryer, useful, good. Tree-toppler, deadly, bad. Blowing ships over the ocean. Billowing nothingness. Empty movement. Unseen bird-flight In the blank, open sky. Air-snatcher steals the breath Of…

Burlap Man

…his claws are tree branches that won’t stop growing.  His tail was eaten by a boa constrictor and he’s afraid of fire and water and trees and the #36 bus. …

A Horse Is Not Always A Horse

…with bad grace if a friend told a filthy joke in front of the children. Mine was the house with the tree, umbrella pine, I used to toast the nuts,…

Rob Miles

…with ancestral remains. Recently, Rob won the Candlestick Press Christmas Lights Poetry Competition, judged by Di Slaney and Katharine Towers to appear on postcards nationally, and he was highly commended…

The Summoner

…move the world, have literally moved our garden shed from one end of the lawn to the other on rollers, my new Christmas bicycle and all your tools still locked…

Time Capsules

They buried both tins together somewhere under the apple trees, to be re-discovered in one thousand years but they weren’t sure, since he could not converse with them, that he…

Unwritten History

…catches at the glass, Yet the family don’t turn to see, For their Christmas cheer warms their sports. Time. Tick, tock, Our tiny hearts are racing, Through our house and…

‘I wish to see the man in the moon’

…holy words, Christmas Vigil barely heard, I search in vain for sacred faces, but like the man there are no traces. “Hallowed be,” my mother glares, I choke on words…

Heroes of Our Islands

…crayonned in and marginalia (juvenile). Some illus., black and white; defaced.   Inscribed: To dearest John, to speed you in their footsteps, love from Auntie Joan, and kisses, Christmas 1959….

Last Chance Love Letter

I’ve heard alcohol makes writing this kind of thing easier so I’m drinking the whisky you gave me last Christmas but I still don’t know what I should say. It’s…

Revenue Choir

…support. Give them a big hand, ladies and gentlemen, whether at the Christmas concert, raising the roof in aid of the homeless – who eke out a life below poverty…

Visiting The Country Of My Birth

The tyrant and his wife were exhumed For proper burial; it is twenty years since They were shot against a wall in Christmas snow.                                             * The fish in the…

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

…nameless crimes, And things are done you’d not believe At Madingley on Christmas Eve. Strong men have run for miles and miles, When one from Cherry Hinton smiles; Strong men…

Southgrove Road Carol Singing

My childhood blurs in yellow light and cinnamon air, the year irrelevant. A single Gloria holds all my Christmas Eves: nights when we breathe dragon-smoke, clutch rain-crinkled paper and sing…

Konstandinos Mahoney

…poems, e.g. Hong Kong Bar Hop, which can be viewed on You Tube. His poems have recently appeared in Live Canon’s 154, New Poems for Christmas and their 2017 Anthology. …

The pirate inside

…in front of her mother.   He does not want to attend the Church Fenton Christmas Carol Service, but leer at the nuns who shop at the Village Store, or…

How We Left

https://vimeo.com/101072166 Music by David Julyan. We left in a hurry; our lives hastily packed in the two carrier bags: a toothpaste, some snapshots from the last Christmas (we’ve already forgotten…

Mrs Richards’ Year

…worms anymore. However, the feeling of watching the last Christmas roll by – Well, that was a gut-wrenching pain that you shoved down, singing the            carols louder. Mrs Richards…

Beyond His Capacity

…he’d spotted him in the Social Club. Tradition round here the slate’s wiped clean at Christmas but he’d splashed out on Lottery tickets; put one in the card he left…

Alison Brackenbury

…Dreams of Power (1981), Breaking Ground (1984), Christmas Roses (1988), Selected Poems (1991), 1829 (1995), After Beethoven (2000) and Bricks and Ballads (2004). in 1997, her work won a Cholmondeley…

The Guest

…piles of gravel do, delivered to the beginning of a drive, one ear folded like a landscape Christmas card, one eye a red foil bauble dented from storage. He sat…

untitled death, untitled war

…blue pan eyes, who hours later could have planted seeds of stille nacht in my eardrums. the prophet who said this would be over by christmas has probably been shot….

Going Up

…clock is starting to spin) then Christmas again; and what they never told our restless generation was keep hold of every childish fascination because Growing Up is best in moderation…

Back Home in Winter

Driving back home, familiar sights like the opening credits of a film on every Christmas. I sleep in cold sheets. When I fumble in the dark the lights aren’t where…

from Letter for the Unknown Soldiers

…which braved no-man’s land in the Christmas truce. Who knew? In your parish church I found you, recto and verso, in a roll of honour – I first spied your names…

Vanessa Kisuule

…of the UK scene, and she has performed at several festivals including Glastonbury, BrizzleFest and Larmer Tree. She has won Poetry Rivals slam and two Farrago slams and performed at…

If I could write like Tolstoy

…horse under a tree, breath from its nostrils, creases in gloved fingers pulling at the reins, perhaps hoof marks in the mud as he jumps the ditch at the end…

Places to cry

hiding under the apple tree with broad branches and pink flowers;   when feeding the next door neighbours fish blibity blobity blu halves of dry fish food captured;   and…

Had I Lived

tree, purple sleet, mommy)         who pretended that her cave did not reek of tumid coughing sounding with the resonance of tuberculosis and saxophones;      …

The Rust Man

…to resurface. The bamboo trees that appeared deceased are now budding with a buttery glow. The miniature humming birds, previously subdued by the dusk, are now harmonizing together in a…

The Shoot

Us beaters, armed with stout sticks, whack tree trunks and bash bushes. Three pheasants flap up, and beaks pointing straight ahead, tug away. The shooters are waiting. Bang-bang. Bang-bang. Ten…

Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea Smartt’s poem, ‘Headway’ was published in the Winter 2012 issue of The Poetry Review. Her collections include, Connecting Medium and Ship Shape. Her latest collection is a chapbook from Peepal Tree

The hobby of searching for gold

…rolling mud on his palm. Gold lies at the bottom of the riverbed, under all the gravel, between the bedrock crevices, clinging on tree roots after being swept into movement…

Green Tears

The winds whisper words of warning for the World The Father Tree looks up to the eye of the hurricane Circling above him Like vultures Or mankind Wires Now climb…

from Thomas Hobbes (1588–) Works Motherhood

1. Generation it takes a man to generate a man – Aristotle Hobbes considers the species reproducing itself through his cunt. He considers a horse chestnut tree in late April:…

Notes on a Piano

…speckled light of a tree-strewn yard, a man sheds a tear to the strains of Die Nacht. He plants a lily, as fragile as bone, Like his mother’s kisses by…

My Father’s Home

…it would sound like the way he remembers her smile, the first time she saw him seeking shade under a banana tree. It would look like the way he remembers…

National Park

“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.” -Aldo Leopold The prairie is contained within a rough sketch of mountain, its trees whistling out their…

The War Reporter Paul Watson Lost His Camera

…thug -gish Buddha. Jaundiced eyes and gun muzzle -like muzzle daring you. To holler. Hurl skipping stones from the sliding tide. He ducks behind a tree. And here comes your…

On Top of the Hill

…ripping from my chest Jumping to the place I would lie. Walking past the tree I carved my name in Nearly faded Telling me it was time to let go….

Civilisation

Daisies in her hair – barefoot and wilded Living on the edge of comfortable. I let her run across the open plain. But she cannot climb the trees Not when…

Leah Remembers Stars and Mandrakes

…Leah’s eyes were weak but Rachel was beautiful and lovely and traded two mandrakes for a night of love. On the day she pointed out their usual tree. I waited…

My Grandmother’s Purse

It feels like a lump of rotting sheepskin, Rough and hard like bark from a tree, The smell of ageing coins stain my hand, Ancient bus tickets and faded pictures…

Kathleen Jamie

…Stirling in 2011. Collections include The Queen of Sheba (Bloodaxe, 1994), The Tree House (Picador, 2004), which won the Forward Prize for Poetry in 2004, and The Overhaul (Picadaor, 2012)….

Annie Freud

…and graduated in English and European Literature at the University of Warwick. Her pamphlet, A Voids Officer Achieves the Tree Pose, was published by Donut Press in 2006. Her first full…

Beeline

…the blossom, and the high street bosses regret the shortage of honey and coxes, squashes and almonds; When the queen abdicates her brood chamber, sick of the constant flux and…

My Grandmother Tells Me About A Famine

…want & made harsh by these sodium lights / city / petroleum fuel / air. i can’t / see the trees or easypeel oranges, veal, unfiltered, cold-pressed oil my mother…

Recipe for a Towpath Garden

…its restive spirit. Plant it bow to stern with medicinals:  a small lemon tree grown from a pip, lollipop verbena, lavender, juniper and hops to train up the rusty barrier….

from The Mara Crossing

…sea     is calling and your best friend bought a motorbike     in America last year. You go because the streets are paved     with gold and your father went when he was…

The Knights

…boiled in the water and eaten. There are countless lakes in northern Russia but his is easy to find because the tree branches on the shore nearest him are all…

7 Pregnant Silences

… * Moored at Abu Simbel, a December night. We’re dumb-struck by the vast black dome all studded with star-light.         * Fairy lights twinkle on the tree. The family’s…

Star Man

…light came like a curl of candle smoke and lit a cooking-apple tree inside his head where he’d built a den and brought flowers in a broken mug without its…

Jericho Shandy

…bull chained by its nose to a cartwheel, a punky sun turning its wooden dial… A tyre’s soft watch drips slowly on a tree; inside, paranoia’s less critical than tumultuosissimamente:…

Potatoes

…time, he said their luminous tentacles would spread and I would have a maze of potato under my little garden, under the apple tree and the rosemary bush and the…

Heavy Home

tree school groaned, stirred in their sleep, having lately put away childish things. All of us late.What if we lived overseas? We could survive on alms and pledges for a…

Tigerless

…the thunder-strength of muscled cloud. Now I am big as she said you were and I would be, Eye-level with the lightning-riven tree. But she was wrong as well, said…

The Crick Poem

…beneath a tree, and waking surprised in October dawn as the roof sends out a guncrack of rain and crab apples shaken down by the storm. A roe deer at…

Northern Place

Down the striped bank The purple tree Sways in the afternoon breeze, And the shades of green That surround it Rustle in a cascading cloak Of leaves. Yellow field stretch…

A Kind of Quickening

…Christ as makeweight on the flowering tree but a jazz-singer, dress blue as hyssop against the downbeat dusk, while on the skyline wind-turbines turn to the preaching of the swallow….

Sunday Evening, 1941

…could taste them. It was dawn and already the sun was torching the trees. I lifted the sack and looked out; no green shoots cracking the parched earth, just red…

Recipe for a Towpath Garden

…its restive spirit. Plant it bow to stern with medicinals: a small lemon tree grown from a pip, lollipop verbena, lavender, juniper and hops to train up the rusty barrier….

Muslim Girl

When they had finished with her and with her mother she climbed a tree and hung herself – a girl in a red sweater that her mother had knitted. This…

from ‘Tucked in where they fell’

…We wore dog-tags of vulcanised fibre But those need their ‘dog’ to stay whole Or to keep enough bone to be tied on Not be draped on some tree in…

caryatid

…uprooted stone / you cut down every walnut tree said: artifact  museum piece  1816,0610.128, our number slimmed like a fragile moon. its light drew tears from stone. wind on marble,…