Tag Archives: woodland


.  .  .  .  .  .  .   I love you. 
                The wet dips and the 
        dry crests of you. The wild living 
      heart of you. I love every part of you. 
        In spring you grow and deepen and in 
    summer you glow. In autumn I leave you. As 
    I walk  away weeping, you rustle and sigh 
   behind me, your extremeties dying. But winter
      is for sleeping and we have to part for a  
    while. When warmer weather returns you will 
      stretch and grow again. You will protect me  
     and caress my spirit with a floor of flowers.   
     You will welcome me into the depths of you.
           Again I will walk your verdant 
                 paths, and worship
                      expand -
                    ing canopy 
                of  green  leaves

The Daily Post #Tree

©Jane Paterson Basil

The End Of The Season

Five Photos. Five Stories. Day 5

Thank you Calen at Impromptu Promptlings for nominating me for this fun challenge. For anyone who hasn’t seen Calen’s lovely inspiring site, I recommend that you check it out now.

Ecocamp train

the leaves are an emerald mural
etched across the sky
a fresh pinch of air pricks the nose
and imparts a thrilling discomfort
giving a single clue
that summer has finished

the finest wild harvest of the year
will soon detach
from the sweet chestnut trees
their chubby-fingered leaves
will crisp and curl
to make a rustling brown game
for children to kick through
but I will not be here to see it

I hear the hoot
of the steam train
as it draws near
hidden from sight
by the bulk of Wild Boar Wood

as it enters the clearing
I wave for one final time
but the season is ended
and the train is empty
except for the engineer and fireman.
the fireman returns my wave
in his regular friendly way

I watch the thick white steam
as it teems from the chimney,
a widening column that thins to grey
and then disappears gradually
long before the train is distanced
into silence

I walk the woodland paths,
running lightly down the stairway I built
as I recall the weight
of each rough timber I placed
so that our guests may climb the hill in safety.

I nod
my silent farewells
to the boggy pit below
and to my fairy glen,
so recently vacated
by those cheery winged figures

I stand with my hand on the car door
facing the the woodland
gazing through the trees,
memorising the scene
that this welcoming vision
may warm me through the winter

next spring
the bluebells
will splash their bright petals
across the wild floor,
the hazel and birch
and their mighty friends
will uncurl fresh baby hands
in sun worship.
the brambles
will redouble their efforts
to smother the tents
and I will return

© Jane Paterson Basil

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. Today, I’m inviting Arundhati at Sandcastle to join the challenge.

Her Wild Boar Wood Adventure

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Always, in the past, she had known that things may be better tomorrow. She had known that in order to move forward she had to take a step. She had known that the cloying grey mud which seemed to engulf her was not a physical thing.

But now it just Was There…. as if it had always been and always would be.

Although it threatened to engulf her, like a burnt out actor she tried to continue to play her part, unable to leave the stage until, too weak to resist, kind hands led her away to an enchanting woodland far from the slurry pit of her unwitting, unthinking tormentors.

Blindly she followed, taking her battered brain with her, and looking neither ahead or behind, caught in an endless moment of dispair while her consciousness barely managed to attend to the rules of convention.

Although she instantly saw the beauty of the place, it took a while for her eyes to adjust to the light, but in that summertime haven she gradually sluiced off the filth.

She stood up and stretched muscles that had been crushed by the crash of a thousand thrown stones.

Hidden bruises healed and the sun warmed her skin.

People smiled and laughed, and her mouth and throat and belly opened to respond.

Strong trees of oak, birch and hornbeam offered up their beauty, and as their intricate patterns silhouetted the navy blue sky, she retired each night to enjoy sleep that had for so long evaded her.

Awoken as the dawn brought a cream glow into her tent, she would snuggle more deeply into her bed, luxuriating in the lyrics of a miriad of neighbourhood birds that seemed to sing of her escape to freedom. Gently she would drift back into sleep, until it was time to get up and start the day’s work.

Looking after the guests at this holiday campsite was a pleasure, as were most of the practical duties which needed to be carried out.

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Those unforgettable months were spent greeting and getting to know all sorts of interesting people. Pleasant evenings were enjoyed around their campfires, as she learned of lives so different to hers. There was the fun of helping guests to light a fire in the golden glow of early evening, and the thrill of seeing the excitement on the children’s faces, as together, they explored the woods. Dens were built and mock battles were fought between strangers who had so easily become friends.

With the generous blessing of the manager, when there were spare tents her family and friends sometimes came to stay, and she proprietorially showed off the unfamiliar lilac mushrooms which glowed as if radio-acive, and the wildflowers that were never seen in their home county.

2014-09-05 09.24.46

Every day she found a new treasure to add to the fast-expanding coffers of her heart.

Then summer ended.

She returned to the home that she loved. Everything was a little more crumbled and broken – everything except her.

She stood tall, with her head up and her shoulders loose. Her breathing was calm, her heart beat gently in her chest. She flexed her toned muscles, and then relaxed.

She was ready to mend her damaged world.

© Jane Paterson Basil

I offer up gratitude to all the people who helped me to lift my feet when they were heavy, and in particular I would like to thank my niece Heather for inviting me to apply for the shared job of campsite warden with her, and Hugh Sandie, who had the faith to employ me.


This poem is dedicated to my mother who died ten years ago. I was proud to be the daughter of this most compassionate, intelligent and graceful of women. She loved to see me write, because she knew that writing made me fly. She loved me unconditionally, and I try to emulate her.
.2014-05-15 17.53.55

Through dim lit, secret woodland
I creep
Unsnapped twigs beneath padded paws
Tickle briefly
As controlled muscles swell to fit their purpose.
I am the hunter, the killer
The monster
Of a million small animal fears.

In their flurry for food and fornication
Feather brained birds
Forget to fear me
Slyly I select one
And suddenly I spring.
The pandemoneum
Of panicked wings
Does not deter me.
In my way
I can fly too.
Airbourne, twisting,
I capture the straggler
A puny morsel
But it satisfies my hunger
For blood and sport.

I saunter away
Renewed, proud,
The victor.
Spare energy assails me, and I run, climb, spin,
Chase my tail
Revelling in absurdity
Freeing the kitten within

Then langorously I stroll
Past bright sun cradled blooms
And warm stone walls
Into the cottage
Where under the withered eyes of obedient servants
I sleep.

© Jane Paterson Basil