The main path through Penny Rock

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

lichen tree

fragile absolute

This poem originally toured Cumbria as part of Plantlife’s Looking Out for

Small Things (LOST) Photography Exhibition in 2019, and was published in

Plantlife’s magazine.

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.