By: ailsaandlisa

Feb 12 2014


Category: free verse, poem


To ensure the endurance of purple
the rangers work on the summit
taking back stands of leggy heather,
bilberry bushes gone to wood.

In a quiet place they are encased in layers
of sound: the roar of the strimmer,
the chat of the podcast, their own thoughts
of tea, of plans for the summer.

Some days a shrew runs out, uncovered.
A kestrel hovers, just in case.
Today the cutting unburies an old
quarry roadway, built by soldiers.

In many ways time is different here.
At this height everything grows more slowly.
The ranger says this manual task is on
a twenty-year rotation
which seems to me

a sensible length of time in which
to turn something around.


The second of twelve poems by Ailsa Holland as Tegg’s Nose Poet in Residence 2014. Photo by Lisa Williams.


6 comments on “February”

  1. So descriptive, I can see the rangers at work as I read the poem…..love it

  2. If it wasn’t for the rain made me almost want to be a Ranger!

  3. A very evocative piece, Ailsa.

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