My present from Camden Tree Forest: A Rowan tree whip.
It doesn’t look like a tree,
more like a stick or a branch.
So, I look it up.
Amazing that this ‘slender unbranched shoot or plant’
Is a young tree seedling and already 2 or 3 years old.
Will my Rowan grow up and get old, like people and animals?
How big will it grow?
How long might it live?
I don’t know
So, I look it up
My Rowan might live for 200 years.
It could be 9 times taller than me.
It has been growing in Britain since the end of the last Ice Age
That’s really put me in my place
Which is to take care of my tree.
Face in the Maple tree
Do you see me now?
I have arrived from the past, watching.
You think what you experience is new
But it has been experienced a thousand times before.
You think it is maybe explained by science
a juxtaposition of bark and light
But I am what I am
shaped by experience – just like you
So this is my face
born of slow time
etched from the corners of winter
and burnt out summer dreams
So this is my face, my eyes
You think I don’t see you
But I do
I have tales to tell, if only I could
But you are all energy, and in a different time.
Cherry tree whip in the city
a world shrinks
and yours grows
One fine day, someone suggested planting a walnut
In the kitchen garden at Kenwood
Perhaps they had foresight of climate change
And thought the heat would help
Or they were simply fond of walnuts
I will never know
When my parents visited
Being told, as a boy, not to come back from Pateley
Without green walnuts
That his Mum could pickle
I have tried pickled walnuts
It’s an acquired taste
The look like brain and so were once used as therapy
But pickled walnut treatment will not make me happy
I suggest you visit this tree
And see walnuts
Before they are whipped away.
Summer sunshine, Primrose Hill, my eyrie,
From where, I admire, my Camden plane-tree,
But, I cherish, most of all,
With, this sad Autumn Fall,
My gentle friends, waving farewell, to me