His favourite place
was by home
across the river
where some old trees  –
hawthorn, cedar, alder, oak –
have openings between,
space for woodland light.
It was here he loved
to lie, feet against
a tree-trunk, stare up
into branches.

Other folk might love
to travel the earth, he said,
see different sights,
but there’s a lot
to be received from
visiting the same spot
over and over,
see it change through the year –
near impregnable bracken giving way
to the company of bluebells –
beginning to be a piece.

One time he lay watching
a woodpecker hammer at bark,
another the silver birch sway-near-
topple in the gale,
then just nothing but the quiet,
in the place where no-one came –
apart from the odd shooting-party
in pheasant-season.
Other times
the lack of folk, of boot-prints,
made it an arboreal heaven –
den of unbroken air


Jacci Bluman lives in Cumbria. There is more about her alongside her poem May moon party and she has also contributed Axons for the memories we need.