Valentine’s Day

silver birch
It was with a great deal of pleasure that I accepted an invitation to be guest poet on the Leeds-based community radio station elfm for their Word Salad programme this Sunday evening. The theme, totally appropriately on the eve of Valentine’s Day, was love in all its guises. I found myself moved and cheered in equal measure by bracing poems from local school children, tales of long marriage from senior Leeds residents, and great poetry, stories and drama from writers up and down the country.

The radio station small, friendly and packed with lovely people, offered me strong tea and chocolate biscuits. The programme, ably and warmly presented by Peter Spafford, embraced its many visitors and contributors.

Can I thank everyone, from the witty technical staff to the talented young students on work experience, for making the two hours pass so pleasantly for me.

Listen Live on their website,, or Listen Again to Sunday evening’s programme.

Here follows my Valentine’ s Day poem for 2011.

silver birch for Valentine’s Day

There’s a beech tree nearby I feel is mine
Though sovereign in its pomp and power;
Some trees have magnificence, they are fine
Palaces of dream, whose seasons inspire.
We are not such trees which fill all with awe,
We have different grace, a slighter mode,
A sparse copse of silver birch, blown and raw,
Half-anonymous by an urban road.
But through successive years we are as one,
Our moonstruck trunks are neighbours, leaves entwine,
We share the winter winds, the summer sun,
And our roots grow deep as our hearts combine.
Thank you then, for what you have given free
In your faithful sojourn here, next to me.

© James Nash 2011