As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move. (Macbeth, Act 5)
Forget Great Birnam wood coming to Dunsianane, the tree-poems are coming into Benmore Botanic Garden thick and fast today. In fact, I’d go as far as to say I’m gathering a forest of tree-poems today. And fine, strong specimens they all are. Please keep them coming.
Here are a copse of tree-poems written by Sally in Norfolk. You’ll see one of them mentions Piers Patrick, a wealthy American who planted Benmore’s Redwood Avenue in 1863, a year after he bought the estate. Piers Patrick also extended the boundary of the garden along Loch Eck and added the impressive, baronial tower to Benmore house.
I asked a child to draw a tree.
From the cluttered playroom, he
looked out the window, crossed a long perpendicular line
with a short horizontal. Not like this, he said, but it was wood. It could have been.
Here are some words that exist to put trees in your head.
Holloway Road on a No 17 – not a paper world, but bricks and stone
lined with sycamore, limes and London plane – a solace to busyness.
If all of them were bread and cheese, it wouldn’t be the same.
Brothers and sisters was how Piers Patrick saw them,
picturing the massive avenue – giganteums
he planted in memory of what we are,
we were, and will be. Avatars.