edwn is a nature poet, songwriter and photographer. edwn.org features poetry collections, photographs, and the albums An Ordinary Patch of Ground, Reso, Sproutcale, Burrdock, and Landling.

Not Alone

A single yew on the sun-razed hillside
Towering high over spindly vervain
Agrimony's yellow flames
Burning in the heat haze

The chalkhill blues trade marjoram's nectar
For fox scat salt's
Electrolyte delights
The buzzard soars high overhead
A mouse lies in a clover bed of dreams

You shrug off such quotidien dramas
Your tough yet papery bark bent and folded from years
Of growth since you were just one of many saplings

Now there's only you, broad-backed and deep-greened
Lower branches cropped by generations of deer
Standing high ^ on their rear legs

Countless sheep and numberless walker's hands
Have brushed against your trunk in passing
You paid them no heed, awaiting in vain for the touch of your lover (pollen bourne) on the wind

Privately yearning in a public space
Exposed yet knowing yourself and your fate
You're too isolated to have ever bourne fruit
Yet somehow stronger for it

You're not alone
You're not lonely
Single yew on the bare hillside