Coppicing by Ilse Pedler

Ilse Pedler has had poems published prevously in Poetry News, Prole, Artemis and Stand. She was shortlisted in The Rialto Nature Poetry competition in 2014 and 2015 and in the Bridport prize 2016 and commended in the Hippocrates 2017. She is the winner of the 2015 Mslexia Pamphlet Competition. Her pamphlet, The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels, was published by Seren in March 2016. She lives and works as a veterinary surgeon in Saffron Walden and is currently working towards a first collection.   



Frost crusts the branches and the metal earth rings

back my steps. Every breath cuts my lungs

and is returned blunted.


The saw sings the wood, the billhook splits and sneds creamily,

and my hands gritty with the dust of lichen sort into piles;

posts, beanpoles, brash.


The aftermath is full of silence and ground remembering light,

while the spared standards shiver and square their shoulders

to the sky.


Ilse Pedler