Friday 21 June 2013


Tucked away
inside a wooden cabinet,
I find the Tibetan Book
of Living and Dying.

Books can save your life,
some say
they can even help you

In Stanley Park I stand inside
a dead tree;
a hollowed out by time tree;
a rescued by man,
propped up by iron tree;

I feel nothing.

"You are touching time,"
my mother observes,
but the tree
says nothing
to me.

The Big (Living) Tree, Stanley Park, Vancouver, 1924
I have just returned from a brief visit to my family in Vancouver, to spend time with my grandmother who will be ninety this year and has become too frail to travel to her beloved England. I went with my mother, who is an easy travelling companion. Vancouver's trees are a glory - the scent of cedarwood and pine entwined with blue haze of mountains is a balm, but the Hollow Tree made me sad. It is raining in England now, the wisteria is no longer flowering but the roses are out... I like the living. I liked seeing my grandmother's cheeks still blooming...