Walking with trees

dverse is looking at madness today. Not a condition I’m acquainted with, but mild depression is something most of us have experienced at one time or another.


There are days when only trees will do,

or the way the dead leaves lie so still beneath,

and the stream trickles by with its watery song.

Those days, birdsong is the only common sense,

and the flash of a wary creature almost seen

is to be treasured, a lifeline.

Days pass and nights full of stars sooth

and draw the eye away from the black holes

in the head into the glittering cradle of the sky.

But the day I dread is the day I raise my hand

to pluck a ripe fig, blackbird crashing in the hedge,

the sky full of swallows and I let it fall,

because not even this immensity is enough

to drive the stuttering engine one moment further.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “Walking with trees”

    1. It was just a prompt, so I used a bit of poetic licence ๐Ÿ™‚ I do suffer from mild depression occasionally, usually in the winter. It’s a symptom of a rare medical condition I am lumbered with. Basically, I’m allergic to the cold.

  1. It’s the title that drew my attention, Walking WITH Trees. It makes me imagine going for a walk in the wood, joining hands with the trees, and walking on together. I did a blog once about ‘Blue Conifer’ and ‘Pink Magnolia’ dancing together because in my photo I fancied it looked like they were. Trees are fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. There was a puppy shot purposely by a hunter on Saturday because he was afraid it would warn off the animals when he came back on Sunday for blast off. The owners are prosecuting, but the hunters don’t see anything wrong with it.

  2. Have you read The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell? Lots of evidence for what we all know – nature soothes and heals. The fear of loss at the end of this poem strengthens the beauty of the start, for me.

    1. No, I haven’t read it, but I know that it’s true. When we lived in Bordeaux someone I met dog-walking by the river said it was the best place to bring dogs that were nervy and timidโ€”the river calms them. I reckon she was right.
      Losing that sense of wonder and gratitude for me would be a sign that everything worthwhile had gone.

  3. A lovely poem but with a darker ending. I love walking in the woods, crunching sticks and leaves beneath my feet. Nature is soothing for me, but perhaps not so much for you.

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