July 14, 2014 § 11 Comments

beneath ancient yew

a nest of last year’s leaves –

skull of church mouse




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§ 11 Responses to burial

  • Wow, this is fantastic, such power in so few words 🙂

    Skull of church mouse – What a stunning line..
    Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media

  • Powerful words, Rachael, and a great tree!

  • SirenaTales says:

    Yes, beautiful and potent, Rachael. I experience this poem visually via the vivid visual journey you provide: from the huge yew, to the small nest to the tiny skull…juxtaposed with the constants of a circle (of life) and vibrating, infinite flow of life. Thank you. xo

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Wow, Chloe – wish I’d thought of all that. What a beautiful way of responding to those few words. Thank YOU xxx

  • Great Haiku….you captured all sorts of links with yews, churches and the cycle of death and life……looks like a great specimen

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Thank you for the compliment! Yes, the yew looks incredibly healthy. It lives at Corhampton, near Winchester.

  • Miranda Stone says:

    I would love to see this tree. To imagine all the history that has occurred while it has grown over the centuries. The sense of time ripples through this poem, with the word “ancient” and reference to last year’s leaves. And of course, the church mouse skull, a potent reminder of death. But what a stunning contrast, between the seemingly eternal yew, and the ephemeral life of the church mouse. These just keep getting better and better, my friend! Always a joy to read your succinct and beautiful poems.

    • Rachael Charmley says:

      Thank you, Miranda. This one just came out of the blue. The tree is one of the oldest in the country, and may be even older than the Saxon church itself. There are also empty Roman coffins there, and the church has beautiful wall paintings. Such a powerful place.

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