The Poplar Shade

On one hot summer day, I sat beneath
The rich canopy of my poplar tree.
O how windless was the steam did I breathe,
Which muffled all but sweat drips o’er the lea!
I squinted at a nearby knoll of heath.
With swaying twigs the shrubs beckoned to me.
I therefore put on my hat and my shoes
And fled the heat via a track in long disuse.

Towards the windblown heath I trudged agaze,
I soon realised the knoll was quite a climb.
As the raging sun set my hat ablaze
And the flesh beneath ready to sublime,
I went through the motions in a deadpan daze
And lost all track of purpose and of time.
Where it’s as far from the heath as from my yard
The notion fell apart in all regard.

I pondered if I were spared the trial
What comfort I would’ve enjoyed in the shade.
At the very thought I rested awhile
And spotted my poplar across the glade.
Never did it my eyes so much beguile—
How statuesque a frame the shade betrayed!
The traveller gazed up the knoll as I did.
Was she a lass? Or a dame—O God forbid!

The belle and I exchanged a cordial wave;
My heart quickened for an urgent appeal.
Yet, fate, the judge and jury, chose to waive
All his favour to reprieve or repeal.
Then and there she left my humble enclave,
Swaying like the heath in its breezy zeal.
Into the unforgiving winds the years tossed
I wondered why some paths neared but never crossed.


Colin Lee


The rhyming eight-liner was prompted by Frank in dVerse’s Form for All: Ottava Rima. This week I was scribbling from my Hertfordshire home where the black poplar is abundant.

Photo Courtesy:

14 thoughts on “The Poplar Shade

Add yours

    1. Oh, well, c’est la vie, Walter. Opportunity costs and the irreversibility of causality and all that … c’est la vie. And, no, I don’t mean this in a melancholic way; I guess whichever the stage of life is, it is about embracing, if not rejoicing in, the choices we made — and even the mistakes. We never know. Now is always the best of time, I guess? Thank you for your reading and approval, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: