#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 16 – Jelly Ears

Jelly-like ears cluster on trees,

livening up dying lower branches.

The latest fashion, you might think.

Beech, sycamore, ash – they all wear them,

but elder sports the most.

Legend has it

that for elder, the ears represent Judas’s tormented soul.

But perhaps the hardwood simply delights

in listening to the varied sounds of its woodland home

and so wished to collect more of them;

those reddish-brown kidney beans,

with their translucent undersides wrinkled into veins,

clinging to bark like folded ribbon.


When the frosts arrive, they freeze solid,

becoming sugared sweeties in an elaborate window display.

Then, as they thaw, their cells jump into action

and off they go:

growing, growing, as if the pause button

had never been hit.

This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise money for the RSPB . To find out more about the project and how to donate, please visit my Just Giving page here.

Sharing is also much appreciated, as I’m trying to raise as much awareness of our local wildlife as possible. The more people who appreciate nature, the more likely it can be successfully protected.



For giants who once wandered the earth,

their bones are sure elusive.

Yes, the snow may be deep,

the sand too quick,

the volcano about to erupt,

but you’d think their brilliant remains

would declare themselves like beacons.

Not so, once again to the map I go,

so scribbled and crossed out it’s barely legible.

I hear the doctor snort, and casually he hands me the real map

and removes my brain scan from my grasp.


Ice Maiden

She drinks in the river and lets the ice settle in her heart,

enclosing the fire they want to steal away.

They’re gasping, gasping for their lives,

but she thinks not, should have left the cradle be.

She ignores the red blood, the blue

for hers is deep green and never runs dry.

Hers is the proud tears of mothers watching their babes grow,

the sound laughter as they sever her veins.

Extracts/ Flash Fiction

A snippet of my WIP

Rae hazarded a look back down, but then wished she hadn’t. The dragon was following them as they’d planned, but it was only seconds away from snapping its jaws around Lady Olande’s rear legs. The dragon-woman made it back out onto the palace grounds, where her kin stood waiting, also transformed, just as the outer structure of the catacombs exploded from within, spraying rubble in every direction. In its place was the dragon, and as it saw how many people faced it, it licked its teeth hungrily.

The Drengin didn’t wait for it to attack; they made for the sky, joining the Ice sparrows still fighting the Fae soldiers. The dragon beat its wings twice in preparation, then flew up after them. Sure that it was following the main formation, Lady Olande discreetly changed direction and headed for the outskirts of the city, where the Grand Lubber would – if all had gone to plan – already be waiting with Silver, Gwind and Max.


A tale

With charcoal in one hand

and chalk in the other,

we mark out the fate of the world.

Dark melts into light

and light crashes into dark.

We trap it

with markings on great walls

of caves amidst the smoke

of carefully set bonfires.

Flames that can predict the future.

We see ourselves riding

on the backs of river dragons,

racing from the molten chase.

Extracts/ Flash Fiction

The Face

There was a face in the tree. It rippled up the branches and into the leaves, finally coming to a stop in the soft white flowers. There it would wait, until an unsuspecting bee or wasp landed on the delicate petals searching for pollen. Then: gulp! The insect would be swallowed whole by the face, with not even a furred black leg or crystal-like wing left as proof that it was ever there. Once full, the face would retreat down to the roots of the tree and hide. Hide away from the sharp senses of the woodland huntresses, with their sharp, hooked nails and unrivaled speed at climbing trees: dryads, the protectors of the wood. They had been chasing the face for more years than it could remember, ever since it had stole away from them one night when it was little more than a babe.

You see, the face was once a male dryad, and it was well known amongst all dryad kind, from those in the great wilds to those in small country woods, that a male babe was an omen that the woods would soon die. Fearing that her sisters would turn on the babe, the face’s mother placed it by the road where humans often passed by, in the hopes that it would be found and cared for by them. But seeking its mother’s breast as all infants do, the face had crawled back to dryad’s dwellings in search of her. There it was discovered by the dryad queen, who, repulsed by all it represented, sought to gauge it to death with her savage nails. Yet the earth did not wish the babe to die, and granted it the power to become one with the woods, with only its face ever visible. It eluded the queen, and rippled across the ground and out of sight. Angered and fearful of what it might do, the queen ordered her sisters to seek it out and kill it on sight.

Soon after, the trees of the dryads’ dwellings began to fade. They could not see that it was their own neglect doing so, and not the babe. For the babe was now a face, and no longer a dryad at all. While the trees of the dryads died, the trees the face inhabited thrived, growing tall and strong for another year.


The Long March

One, two, one two.


Line by line,

side by side,

up the steep mountain path

following the piper’s march.


One, two, one, two.


Rock and stone,

wind and rain.

Soon we’ll reach the river,

He doesn’t care if we shiver.


One, two, one, two.


Unable to stop.

Unable to think.

Unable to breathe.


One, two, one, two.


All because the villagers;

our family, our kin;

refused to pay the price

that was owed

to him.