Encyclopaedia of Trees

Identifying skeleton trees in December.

 

The rounded and symmetrical Oak

holds no pretence.

 

The leaning Ash’s phantom leaves

Pull its branches southwards to an unseen Sun.

 

Thawing water drips

Through the Yew’s coarse sieve.

 

The Beech’s lung sheds its cancer

Between two fields.

 

Clumps of grass hold their thoughts

Beneath a lone, neutered Sycamore.

 

The Scots Pine betrays allegiances

And Evergreen massacres.

 

The Hawthorns starve on the felltop,

Their roots slowly tugged above the horizon’s line.

 

Pollarded Pear Trees hold their breaths and

Passively await their summer yokes.

 

The Hornbeam’s arms form the

Outline of a fluted vase.

 

The Monkey Puzzle’s storied branches

Hold a hierarchy of winter birds.

 

Silver Birches cling possessively to three leaves,

Holding on ‘til January’s gales.

 

The Willow’s feathery buds,

Waft gracefully despite the brisk wind.

 

The Poplar reaches, and

Forgets its first-hand holocaust.

 

The Stele

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