Now is the time to admit what I saw at midwinter.
The young oaks were leaning in around their mother,
while a gnarled old door opened the way in her trunk.
From inside, light was streaming and all the other trees,
raised and shook their branches as if praising something.
Now is the time to admit what I saw at midsummer.
The holly was rising tall as any cathedral, form shifting,
into a huge crowned figure, who stretched his limbs,
then set off on a progress around the whole forest.
All other trees knelt down and bowed their heads in respect.
Now is the time to admit what I don’t know about.
The birch sisters who whisper heroic couplets at the boundaries
baffle me. I cannot speak ash, or hornbeam or blackthorn.
All I know is that the trees go about their business,
they do important work, while I wonder and wait.
Alison Jones is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom. Her pamphlet, ‘Heartwood’ was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018, with a second pamphlet. ‘Omega’ forthcoming.