Drawing trees

Drawing Trees


Drawing trees

 

I thought I was doing them properly, the way

you’re supposed to, crayoning out raw shapes

that were, if not quite exactly lollipops, then

certainly something lickable, perhaps clouds

of candy floss wound onto sticks, or ice cream.

I filled them in with a pistachio green to avoid

any ambiguity, ticking in a circle of birds above,

a butterfly the size of a moose. A sun, smiling.

 

Those, she told me would lose their leaves

in the autumn, spend fingerbone winters naked

and heartless. She didn’t say why. I didn’t ask.

Hers were drilled brigades of triangles, isosceles,

getting smaller towards the top of the page

to suggest distance, within which you could

see each and every Starbucks needle, every

chocolate-coloured cone a dangling reproach.

 

first published in Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine Anthology, 2017

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Eels

eels

As it’s Father’s Day, I wanted to repost this.

 

Eels

Me and dad sometimes fished a murky stretch of the Brant,

marshalled between levées of belly-high grass and nettles.

Unless you’d pulled one out yourself, you’d never know

the river hid writhing knots of eels in its catshit-coloured waters,

that barely moved as they searched the edges of the fen for

a gradient to follow, still forty pancake miles away from the sea.

It was always hot. Everything was a shade of green, yellow or blue,

and the man at the Royal Oak would swap a netful of live ropes,

with their angry, pinprick eyes, for beer, and a lemonade for the lad.

 

first published in Message in a Bottle, issue 30, 2016

Eels

eels
Eels

Me and dad sometimes fished a murky stretch of the Brant,

marshalled between levées of belly-high grass and nettles.

Unless you’d pulled one out yourself, you’d never know

the river hid writhing knots of eels in its catshit-coloured waters,

that barely moved as they searched the edges of the fen for

a gradient to follow, still forty pancake miles away from the sea.

It was always hot. Everything was a shade of green, yellow or blue,

and the man at the Royal Oak would swap a netful of live ropes,

with their angry, pinprick eyes, for beer, and a lemonade for the lad.

first published in Message in a Bottle, issue 30, 2016