two trees

I’ve been working on ‘Two Trees’ since 2011. It has come and gone, moved into poetry, stretched into song and soundscape, but never quite settled. In that time, a collection of tree-related pieces have coalesced, and become what I’m calling: Tree Series. In the interests of trying to get something manageable completed, I’ve been re-focusing on the Two Trees element recently. This video piece features photos from my original encounter which began on Ilkley Moor when I walked towards what I thought was a single tree on the horizon.

The text verion of Two Trees is avialable to download/view here.

Strangely enough, a few days after I published the first two sentences of this post, I turned on the radio (Poetry Please 2/7/23), and Don Paterson was just about to read his poem ‘Two Trees’ (2007). I had never come across this poem before, and listened intently. Beyond titles, I felt a curious connection between the poems. Paterson’s searing work takes an axe to poetry itself. Perhaps this distant coincidental echo will somehow reconfigure a loss doubled.

An inadvertant work: Two poems.

Today (28th September, 2023), I heard the news that the beautiful tree at ‘Sycamore Gap’ on Hadrian’s Wall has been felled. Apparently, a 16 year-old boy is implicated. No reason worth considering. The location is now one of the most painful gaps in the North East. In mourning, I will listen to Elvis, ‘Just Because’.

I’ll just keep adding to this as things arise:

A while later, Walter Renwick, a man in his late 60s, currently under suspicion, says: ‘If I’d have done a murder, I’d be getting less hassle’. People are saying the tree will now live for longer than it would have. The Gap as Spectacle.