by Jessica Sneddon with illustration by Katie Drew
Woods. Parched bark defrosts
in winter sun. Orderly
trees with even spaces
the route to Rydal. Only
a beech, lodging in a hollow
footprint of a fallen tree
a jury of oaks, waiting
for time and lichens.
Circling seasons: canopy to ground
leaf, acorn, root.
Saplings shoot in the spaces
muscling in, disrupting formation
the juvenile wood summons a generation
accruing skins on fossil skeletons
born to be ancient
fungus meets algae
kernel of a forest
This poem originally toured Cumbria as part of Plantlife’s Looking Out for
Small Things (LOST) Photography Exhibition in 2019, and was published in
Jessica Sneddon is a poet and recent Masters graduate. She is most at home meandering through the Lakeland woodlands, valleys and (lower) fells; mostly with a trusty notebook to hand. Her work has been published by Tears in the Fence, Ink Sweat and Tears, Magma and Stand. She has delivered nature poetry workshops with conservation charity Plantlife and toured a selection of her poems with the Looking Out for Small Things (LOST) Project photography exhibition.
Katie Drew is an illustrator and ceramicist currently based in the North West of England. She makes ceramics and illustrations based on her observations of nature as she likes to spend a lot of time outside around the countryside where she lives. Her studio is in a greenhouse on her Gran's old farm. See more of her work @katiedrewillustration and on her website.