22 November 2010


As winter winds gather in the north to turn this last full week of November from a balmy autumn into bitter winter, I give you a tree. A solitary sisterless tree. It stands at the very heart of England where Warwickshire meets Leicestershire. See how the dense new wheat which rustles around it is already beginning to change from green to gold.

It was close to the ridge-top village of Orton-on-the-Hill on June 26th, two days before my beautiful brother Paul died in his sleep. How lovely was our weather in the month of June this year. It truly flamed. Minutes after snapping this picture, I found myself in a field of rape. Beneath my boots the earth was cracked and dry, aching for moisture like an old man's weathered skin.

If my tree picture was selected to illustrate a poem in a new anthology, I wonder what that poem might concern. Perhaps not just a tree in a field on a summery day. Any thoughts?


  1. take a look at my favourite painting
    wierd eh?

  2. Anonymous10:22 am

    I can see the face of the baby jesus in your pudding.


  3. I see a long poem in which one learns that being true to oneself, never compromising your beliefs, "running against the wind," so to speak is not all bad. One might be lonely at times, but one will grow strong and healthy and beautiful with roots firmly planted in the ground.

  4. JOHN I investigated that picture and can certainly see the connection.
    ANONY MOUSE That's not the baby Jesus, it's Satan!
    MOUNTING TIME Wow! I'm stunned by your vivid response to this picture. I really hadn't thought of that angle at all. I just might try to write it. Thank you.

  5. Always a day late and a dollar short, I suggest a poem about solitude being a good thing.

  6. Elizabeth9:38 am

    I'm almost sorry that you have now added the other photographs in the sequence, YP. As truly beautiful as they are, they detract from the original image which has so much depth and story to it. It is a beautiful picture and for most of yesterday afternoon I felt quite haunted by it.
    The first time I looked at it, I saw no clouds on the right side, whatsoever; just a clear, blue sky with nothing to mar it, the tree marking the point of division. So sure was I of this, that when I looked later and saw faint whispers of white, I was absolutely convinced that you had sneaked in and changed the picture.It spoke to me of the phases of our lives where we take a deep breath, think the clouds are finally behind us, head into the, seemingly, cloudless future and then the challenge of new clouds slide slowly into focus.
    I expect that tree has not been popular with generations of farmers who have fought to negotiate it with their scythes and machinery, who have cursed the leaves and seeds falling on their well-ordered crop. An irritant that refuses to move. But how many of those same farmers have taken refuge under its shade to take their louance on a hot harvest day, swigging cold tea from bottles and biting into bacon cakes and doorsteps of lardy bread.Being solitary and standing apart from the crowd is a two-edged sword.
    And then there's the corn, ripening in the sun, heads trembling in the tiny ripple of breeze, expectant and waiting for the harvest to come...

    I could go on, but others have their own thoughts to contribute. A beautiful image, YP, and well worthy of a place in any poet's anthology. x

  7. Elizabeth10:06 am

    I should also have said, 'thank you'. Looking at your picture lifted my spirits yesterday and gave me a new point of focus.Anything that has the power for positive in that way is a beautiful thing. x


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