2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month

Peter Willowdown

Alder man and Hornbeam maid

Alder man and Hornbeam maid
met in the forest's autumn shade.
Said Alder man to Hornbeam maid:
"Will you tarry, will you tarry,
I know a little secret glade
where the sun is not too strong
and the squirrels merry.
The songs the birds sing are quite delightful
and many of them are my friends.
Let me take you there and share
with you its eloquent wonders.
I shall introduce you to my friends
and then in the evening
when the sun has set and the stars have risen
I shall sing my own special songs to you
and you shall compliment me on them."

Said Hornbeam maid to Alder man:
"No doubt your glade is quite delightful
and its squirrels and birds are quite
as charming as you say
but I am off to visit Pine
and sing him some small songs of my own.
Perhaps some other day,
say in a hundred years or more,
if I have no other engagements."

"Pine?" thought Alder to himself after she had gone.
"What sort of tree is that? It has no leaves
or even proper branches to speak of.
I heard him singing once and couldn't
make head nor tail of it.
That Hornbeam maid is obviously somewhat
addled in the roots and pith,
for all her pleasant bark and subtle aroma.
I shall find some other tree to sing my songs to
although perhaps tonight I will only share my glade
with the confounded squirrels and birds again.
I really dont know what the forest wants
with so many of the silly things... "

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