The Tree


It’s hard to believe that when I was a kid
I climbed up to the top of this tree, but I did.
It must have been, what, at least three miles high?
And its uppermost branches formed part of the sky.
It took weeks to climb up it, but that’s what kids do.
It was worth all the trouble, though, just for the view.
From the top you could see, like some great counterpane,
The cottages clustered around Rowland’s Lane
And the smoke from their chimneys, the meadows and fields,
Robins Wood, Pheasants Wood, all laid out like Green Shield
Stamps in a book, on a good day the spire
Of Blackpool town hall, and the snake of the Wyre,
And the castle at Norbreck perched on the cliff’s edge,
The Orion, resembling some massive cheese wedge.
It’s a view that’s now barred to me. Even my best
Attempt wouldn’t make three feet without a day’s rest.


13 responses to “The Tree

  • iODyne

    Wonderful words Brian. I am a tree-hugger and commend to you the Thomas Pakenham book Meetings with remarkable trees. If you put into Search “thomas pakenham”trees the images will be immensely rewarding.
    A thesis could be written on the psychology of a child up a tree. x x

  • Cubby

    This was nice and sweet. So rare and precious when that happens. 🙂

  • Ellen Forrest

    As someone who has never seen these places, you bring them alive in a child’s view. Lovely. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    A different view now too, a main road straight across Rowlands fields and loads of houses at Pheasants Wood 😦

  • suzywordmuser

    The things we used to do! I don’t consider myself that old really, but when I read something like this – yes I think I am, just in denial! 🙂 I’ve never climbed trees, but can remember doing hand stands (girlie thing!) can’t imagine even thinking of doing something like that now. And it amazes me at how I gave little thought to what I was wearing when doing a stand upside-down, I swear my underwear must have shown, but I can’t remember that bit – embarrassing thought now, showing the whole school your knickers! 😀

  • GrowlTigger

    Some lovely memories in this poem of climbing trees and the view. I loved the fairytale style to the opening description of the tree and the reference to Green Sheild stamps in the middle. I will have to do a post about them on my nostalgia blog – I can recall travelling for hours on a bus, with my mum, and then walking for what seemed like miles, to visit the office of the Green Shield company, but I have no idea why, and there is no one left to ask!

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