Sunday, 20 August 2017

Mytholmroyd Tree - A Poem by Suzi Szabó

Just off the A646 outside of Mythomroyd, a rather unusual tree can be seen in a field backing onto the heathery fringes of Midgley Moor.  


When poet Suzi Szabó got up to read at a recent open mic poetry event at Hebden Bridge's Fox and Goose, and introduced her poem as being "about a tree in Mytholmroyd," I - like most others in the pub, as it turned out - anticipated that it would be this achromatic, snowy skeleton that was featured.  Paying homage to the tree's apparent death mask / of unequalled beauty, Suzi's poem articulates in stark, elegant language the solitary splendour of the antique tree.

I have passed this tree dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of times, walking back from Mytholmroyd, or zipping by in cars and making casual references to its unique appearance.  I have stood and observed it from afar, and - prompted by Suzi's poem - taken a closer look, drawn into its dreamy pallor, as it scrapes the sky like the rickety totem pole of some fairytale tribe.

I will hand over to Suzi here, who depicts the unique quality of this bleakly beautiful entity better than I could, and ends with a rousing message to all poets!
Mytholmroyd tree

I have long since admired
your bare beauty
Naked and proud
unlike the others
huddling together
for comfort

You stand alone
With apparent death mask
of unequalled beauty
almost white against the blue
is how I most enjoy your company

If you could talk
what would you say?
Keep writing,   
the roots are still alive!

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