An Immortal Shrub? by Stella M. Turk MBE

The Blackthorn or Sloe
Is quick to grow
In the high land
And the low land
In the woodland
And the moorland
And there is still more
On cliffs and the shore.
Genetically stable
Ensures it is able
To find what it needs
To bloom and set seed.
Suckers also allow it to spread
Making thickets few would tread.
Spiny armour ensures protection
Against most kinds of predation
But Lackey and Ermine can strip it bare
When millions of larvae mount warfare.
We gather the fruits for wine or gin,
The latter well known as ‘mother’s ruin’.
Cobbett relates much of the history
Of this much-loved ancient tree.
A ‘Blackthorn ‘Winter’ is when the weather
Causes flowers and frost to whiten together

Stella M Turk MBE

April 2009



See more verses by Stella



Adverts by Google