Wednesday, 26 January 2011

 It is a mystery!  I have spent months with feathers wafting in - with autumn leaves - through the front door.  Nothing keeps them outside.  And now - almost - the day has arrived when 'Soul Feathers' is published.  It is a core title at all 300 branches of Waterstone's, and yesterday it reached 7th place in the Poetry/Drama category.

So why am I interested?  Is it because it's packed with poems by the greats, like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Carol Ann Duffy?  Or the unknowns, like Dylan Thomas, Sharon Olds?  The lesser-know
ns, like yours truly?  Or because it raises funds for Macmillan Cancer?  Who knows, who cares, another feather's wafted through my front door - go out and buy a copy on 1st Feb, and let's see if it can reach No 1.

 The theme for this blog is TREES - and it seemed as good a start as any, to consider what wildlife would land in my chosen tree.  But I could have spoken about trees into books, leafing through an old friend, or even how a little seed can grow so fast, until it is a mature tree that shades everyone - famous, infamous, past and present, in the shade of that great oak - the POEM.

And, although I could write plenty about the oak tree, I have chosen the PRUNUS - I might check my records to find its precise name.  All cherry  trees begin with 'Prunus' and this one is a plum  tree.

Except for last year, it has not produced fruit yet.  And those two dangling cherries last summer vanished before I could confirm their authenticity!  One day, perhaps.

The flowering plum is suitable for a small garden, so I decided it should grace our 'daffodil circle'.  The area got its name years ago, when I arrived with a sack of bulbs and a piece of string... since then it has changed in every way, except that, like a poet, the daffodils remain.

This small tree is the focal point of the garden.  It was chosen with care.  And while it may be dwarfed by surrounding oaks, it is THE tree I planted especially for its characteristics.  Over the months, I will join the many other people writing about the Tree Cycle.  And if you thought nothing was happening in the garden, then look again - like a poet.  The limbs of this tree are graceful, and strikingly dark.  It's an elegant tree.

But look closely at the narrow branches, and already it is awash with buds.  I can tell you, from the previous five years' experience, that those buds will emerge, nudiflorous, as bright pink flowers.  Delicate, spectacular, and tiny.  The tree will soon be covered with this bloom, long before the arrival of the leaves.

But that's another surprise for you to look forward to; for this tree packs in a mighty punch for a city garden.  You will have difficulty now, awaiting the sap rising.  It is worthwhile in the garden, even without fruit.  One day...

So now you are left wondering whether my artist's perspective insisted on the portrait of the tree being thrown on its side - indeed, if I positioned the camera at an unusual angle to change perspective.  The tree is ever-changing in the garden, no gimmicks necessary...

but the portrait pic was fine until it arrived on the blog, and rotations failed every time...
so if you cannot see anything unusual in a tree near you - any tree - stand on your head, lie down, change your perspective!

Watch, as it bursts with life.  What more do you need, from reading a book of hope, supporting a cancer charity?


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