Winter grips the landscape.
Shorter days dull to grey.
Wind ravaged trees emerge skeletons,
Filigree lace of black wood.
Defence force of the coppice
Stand firm, protect the sheltering life.
Gnarled thin fingers
Offer fruit the colour of lover’s lips.
For birds to kiss, rewarded
For their choice to stay.

Stand still listen.
Do not breathe.
Your eyes will soon unsheathe
That mantle of brown.
Glimpse beneath the bracken,
Copper plumage of the pheasant.
A roe deer gently foraging,
Greedy for some green.
Lift your head to the cooing pigeon
Swooping way up high. 

Verdant soft underlay
Now hidden by autumn’s moult.
Gives warmth to the masquerade of
Wood Blewit and Velvet Toughshank
Concealed within.
Matt green spurs surge through the litter.
Unfurling familiar heads of white
Reach to the sky. They are
Champions of the race with trees
That steal the summer sun.


Polly Sullivan, who loves trees and mountains.