Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Autumn Trees

I was interviewed by the Derby Evening Telegraph yesterday. I must get used to being asked about my favourite poets. One of the names that popped into my head was 'Emily Bronte' but in truth I only remember reading one of her poems - 'The Prisoner' which we did at school (quite appropriate for the miseries of teenage-hood). I looked at some of her other poems hoping to find one about Autumn, but most of them are wintry in the extreme.

The closest I can come to an Autumn poem is one I've recently written about a tree I sent off for (a small one - to plant in my garden!) after collecting tokens from a few gallons of yoghurt.

Today's factoid: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are currently searching for the oldest trees in the county.

Planting the Rowan

Blackbird clacks day’s end through undergrowth.
A week past autumn equinox. We should go in

but keep on, half a cup of cold tea rain-flecked
on a stone, nettle-bites inside wet gloves.

Knees sag with mud, backache as yet benign.
A bramble gives. I’m flung back.

Lights along the row like honey toast.
Shouldering the drizzle, we’ve amassed

a heap of rot-stripped doors, roots, bucket rims.
Downhill from everything we’re nose to earth,

breath - raw damp clumps. A little more.
It’s painful to unbend, stretch to the last grey line

of light. I kiss you, plant the tree
whose bed is soft stroked loam. From inside

it will look so dark out here
we’ll wonder how we saw our way at all.


Anonymous said...

Hi River, congrats on your appointment as Derbyshire's poet laureate.
I read about it in my latest copy of 'High Peak Review'. A short article by Jackie Corrigan and a separate panel showing your 'Planting the Rowan' poem, prompted me to look up your blog.

I'm so glad that I did!
I was able to read the correct version of 'Rowan' The version printed in the paper has no form and has your words in the wrong order.
Congrats again
Dee Little
High Peak

River Wolton said...

Hi Dee, Thanks so much for the comment & congrats! Haven't seen the High Peak Review yet, sorry to hear the poem has been printed in the wrong order :(

all the best