Sunday, February 23, 2020

Evanton Wood

Evanton Wood

   for Adrian

sometimes the wood
sets a menu of tasks –
piling up brash

pulling up hemlock –
but when no-one’s around
I like to lie on

the moss and look up
at a tree lost in 
the labour of reflection

This poem was written on a chilly visit to Evanton Community Wood with Emma Anderson (Paths for All) in February 2020. The wood is used by a number of different walking groups based nearby, local schools use it as an outdoor laboratory and for training in land management, and it hosts a dementia-friendly walking group, who meet in a cabin made from a converted container.

The small burn is Allt Cul na Greine, behind-the-sun burn (wrongly spelt in the poem label). This lovely wee stream is also known locally as the Blayrach Burn, Cressful Burn, from the Gaelic, biolaireach. It is rich in brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), which tastes like watercress that has lived in a cold burn to reach an old and bitter age. 

The octagon, which is close to 
Allt Cul na Greine, has a reciprocal roof, in which one rafter supports another – it is possibly the largest structure of this type in Scotland. It was built of larch sourced from the wood and will be used for community events.

Near the Octagon someone has set up an ad hoc bench facing a tree that hosts a tiny Buddha.

this wood is where it’s safe to be

when we aren’t sure who we are

Thanks to our host Adrian Clark.

These posts are published as part of a year-long artist in residence, funded by Paths for All.

No comments:

Post a Comment