I’m so pleased to round off The IRON Book of Tree Poetry blog tour today with a couple of wonderful sample poems to whet your appetite. Whilst a lack of time meant I was unable to agree to review for this tour, I am very much looking forward to reading and reviewing later in the year.
The IRON Book of Tree Poetry contains more than 50 contemporary poems inspired by trees, selected from more than 500 submitted. Contributors include such well-known writers as Jacob Polley, Linda France, Robin Moss, Kitty Fitzgerald, S.J. Litherland, Peter Bennet and Debjani Chatterjee plus many new voices. The settings include forests, woods, city centres, rubbish tips and theres even one poem set underwater. As well as celebrating the trees, the imaginative response of the authors emphasises what a vital role they are now seen to play in the future of our fragile planet. The book is edited by Eileen Jones and Peter Mortimer with a foreword by Max Adams.
Walking Her Dog
By Julie Meredith
My fingertips won’t meet as I reach around
to give in to this bliss
Tree hugger now and once I’d laughed myself silly
at the thought
But a hankering in my feet led me to this ground
to make this tryst
It was all that I had left to try; to live this part
We stride through every day, I throw the ball
and she brings me
to the trees and the trodden Waggonways between
And as we grieve
we walk, we stop and chat and chase to help us mend
enough to be
We two that used to be we three
Ridiculous I wait ignored; these arms outspread
and gollop in the breath I’ve held so long
then whisp it back
My shoulders sigh and I melt into the bark of this old tree
commanding me to feel
you’re there on the other side
A hug complete
So come on lass, this way now
By Sarah Mnatzaganian
A horse-chestnut thrives on a low green mound,
its trunk like the sinewy back of my father’s hand
thrust into the earth, each finger reaching
for Palestine, seeking his mother’s bones.
It’s spring, Dad, and all the buds on every
bold twig on each gesticulating branch are shining
like toffee apples and hot cross buns – and all the birds
are welcome here, whatever language they speak.
The tree understands their need to roost.
And the two candles I left burning in the cathedral
across the meadow are burning for you and for Mum
who sits by your hospital bed, watching you sleep.
You’re both still there, giving each other light
as I fold my hands and walk away.
About IRON Press
IRON Press is among the country’s longest established independent literary publishers. The press began operations in 1973 with IRON Magazine which ran for 83 editions until 1997. Since 1975 we have also brought out a regular list of individual collections of poetry, fiction and drama plus various anthologies ranging from; Voices of Conscience, Limerick Nation, The Poetry of Perestroika, 100 Island Poems, Cold IRON – Ghost Stories from the 21st Century and forthcoming, Aliens (fiction).
The press is one of the leading independent publishers of haiku in the UK.
Since 2013 we have also run a biennial IRON Press Festival round the harbour in our native Cullercoats. The IRON OR Festival took place in June 2019.
We are delighted to be a part of Inpress Ltd, which was set up by Arts Council England to support independent literary publishers.
Go to our website (www.ironpress.co.uk) for full details of our titles and activities.