entry picture

In search of yew in Borrowdale

that shared the sun with Judas,

I walk a rutted path,


aware of twinges, snares, rocks,

carrying your paints and easel

along with this bowl of words,


no longer fit for consumption,

mold festering in knots

from sour touching fruit within.


And if these words were berries,

gardeners would stand disappointed

at the canker in the bark below.


And if a perching blackbird,

sang this song from any tree,

on any perfect spring morning,


it would jar, taint the air

and cause the world to frown

at such discordant notes.


We’ll find a place to stop, you and I,

and you will paint this landscape,

my eye drawn towards a blemish


where a loose neglected sleeve

was dragged across wet canvas trees

in one careless movement;


a moment you might come to know;

as discarding the bowl by this footpath,

I swallow the words and wait


till the bitter aftertaste subsides,

resolves in time to soil and dust

with Borrowdale’s ancient yew.



Picture credit: By Alfred Heaton Cooper – From the book The English Lakes, Painted by A. Heaton Cooper, Described by Wm T. Palmer, 1908 (2nd edition). Scan from University of Toronto – Robarts Library / Internet Archive 

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Jonathan Humble

Thu 18th Apr 2019 10:54

Cheers Keith. Made my morning … : )

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keith jeffries

Thu 18th Apr 2019 10:32


This is poetry at its finest. This in particular simply blew me away. I have read it three times and stand in awe of its descriptive quality and imagination.

I salute you

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