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Katharine Towers is an award-winning poet, with two full collections published by Picador. The natural world permeates her work, its intense existence resonant in thought, word and sound. Here are poems in which yews and oak trees, foxes and owls, wisteria and roses (a few of the players) are events in themselves.

Although these lyrics are typically brief, their music could fill whole libraries.

The Yew

It is too gothic, or it is too sullen.
It has no heart to speak of or toy with.
There’s the dust of the male tree 
in spring, and the evergreen toxin 
that will eat up our bad cells.

Reach inside its cryptic midst to find 
soft furnishings of moss and fungus.
I can only extol those things 
which are tragic or timeless.
There is also its blackness.