Ash tree

A quadrille for dverse

Ash tree

The ash marks the path
that leads to the house
caught in its boughs
are scraps of blue sky
robin-egg blue
a pigeon or two
where white-wispy cloud’s
a-dangle with jays
chattering, joyous
garrulous gang
and all through the bright spring
a nightingale sang.

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.

61 thoughts on “Ash tree”

      1. My great-grandma often had them in her ‘clinic’. She had two procedures for injured birds, matchstick splints and a shot of whiskey. I never knew her to lose one.

      2. Reminds me of the nasty old codger who we bought our woodburner from. He’d put a sort of trap around the pipe so the birds that got down the chimney couldn’t get into the room. It didn’t bother him that they couldn’t get back up the chimney either. He also kept ornamental ducks on a pond with a net over it so they couldn’t fly away. Only males. The females couldn’t survive European winters and had died. They looked so miserable.

  1. I read this a second time, Jane….aloud. LOVE the rhythm and the rhyming.
    “chattering, joyous
    garrulous gang”
    JUST the sound of reading these four words aloud is glorious.
    I really enjoyed this write!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ The ash trees (after the elms and the plane trees) have got a disease that’s going to kill them all eventually. This one gets a hammering for no reason from the hedge-trimmer every time it passes. You wouldn’t expect a farmer to know anything about trees, would you?

      1. They are beautiful insects. Bright red, and then as they get older, they’re grey with a bright red undercoat. It would be beautiful if it were a gown. πŸ˜€ I think they came from China–no known predators here–and they eat plants and trees, vines. We’re advised to kill any we see. Apparently, they also hitchhike on cars and things.

      2. There are so many things, out of their own environment that do harm. The grey squirrel is a major offender, so small and cute but it wreaks havoc with indigenous red squirrel populations. It’ll get here eventually. They already have it in Italy.

  2. So much to love especially; “a pigeon or two where white-wispy cloud’s a-dangle with jays chattering,” .. the poem goes deeper as we contemplate the role of ash here. Crisp, succinct and oh so moving! πŸ’πŸ’

    1. You’re maybe crediting me with more depth than I deserve! It’s an old tree, struggling with the municipal hedge-trimmer which lops bits off it every time it goes past. And it’s always full of birds!

  3. Luv the clouds. Luv the birds and trees. Luv the joy.
    Most of the posts i read are dark including mine today.


  4. I love all the devices you employ here, the delightful description of the ‘robin-blue sky,’ the alliterative/assonant ‘garrulous gang,’ and the rhyming – it’s a lot to squeeze into one quadrille!

  5. A delightful nature poem, resplendent in its visuals. If I pause and breathe it in, I can taste the ease settling through the air.

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