The Mulberry Tree

The Mulberry Tree

By Clare Crossman

Price: £10.00

ISBN: 978-1-912524-58-7

Number of pages: 72

Poetry, English, Paperback, 135x210mm

Perhaps because she grew up among
The shells of houses with no floors,
the strange murals of fireplaces
imprinted on high walls,

Clare Crossman sets great store by family and friendship, the way
………. the house holds us so gently,
finding society in our footsteps,
our shouts between rooms.

She finds the landscape equally companionable, alert to those moments when it offers “a small redemption, a psalm of trickling light”, and those moments are all the more essential when the graffiti she glimpses under the road bridge she walks past every morning, Somebody Catch My Breath, comes to encapsulate the state she finds herself in. In a book so rich in friendship, the most remarkable instance is to be found in “Ward D9”:

We are a murmuration of rose-ringed parakeets,
plumed in our floral nightdresses, flashes of colour…
Having taken the swoop,
and arrived here by escape or accidental release,
we are still on the loose: perching,
wisecracking,
from a source not quite understood…

The Mulberry Tree is brave, beautifully judged and deeply moving.” – Roger Garfitt

“In The Mulberry Tree, Clare Crossman’s eye for detail is, as ever, accurate, acute, alive, alert. Often accompanied by a background of song-refrains, the poems range from celebrations of places – both wild and inhabited, from Cumbria to the Cyclades – to several poems about the experience of cancer, all the more moving for their understatement. These are integrated with expressions of love and memory, especially for members of her family. The feeling tone of every one of these poems is imbued with clarity, care and magnanimity. These strong, delicate poems are to be treasured and remembered.” – Richard Burns