Writings and Witterings

Hobgoblin Trees


Here’s a poem written about an avenue of trees that line the riverside walk in Worcester, UK. It was longlisted for the Paragram Poetry Prize in 2013. I’m sharing it with dVerse poets today.

Hobgoblin Trees

See the way the shadows flee,
on a face turned to the sun,
arms outstretched, hobgoblin trees
reach for skies soul-darkened, done.
Spring will come as come it may,
see the way the shadows flee
anemone attention.
Frost, a pale, earnest ballet,
arms outstretched. Hobgoblin trees,
battered now by wind, by tongue,
lengthened in season’s decay.
See the way the shadows flee.
Water stretches wild and fey,
frozen edge tiptoes away,
arms outstretched, hobgoblin trees.
See the depths old frost descends
with his face turned to the sun,
see the way the shadows flee,
arms outstretched, hobgoblin trees.

Polly Robinson © 2013

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32 thoughts on “Hobgoblin Trees

  1. I think this is one my favourite poems of yours.


  2. Trees always give, sometimes fruit, flower and if not this then shade, wish if we can have all such qualities like trees!!

  3. smiles….you know they are functional i imagine….named for monsters…they may look it but i bet it is all part of their enduring….thanks for sharing this one with us…and congrats on the near prize too

  4. The title had me straight away…Hobgoblin trees how very cool! A wonderful poem would be great to hear it spoken…has a tongue twister appeal I bet children would love it! Or even Adults such as me…Hobgoblin Tree one I will remember. Great write Polly! :)

    • Thanks Di – they do look like ugly little hobgoblins in the wintertime, this time of year they’re glorious horse chestnuts, candles blowing :)

  5. hobgoblin trees…. nice… that gives them such a realm of mystery… the repetition works well in this polly

  6. hobgoblin trees works great as the refrain… This poem is so mysterious, alluring.. very well written, loved it!

  7. A wonderful poem.. and it is a Villanelle isn’t it.. ? You have made the repetitions seem almost invisible, and hobgoblin tree works so well.

  8. “Hobgoblin”…this word gives your poem such an endearing bumpetity bump rhythm. I love it. :)

  9. fey, like the magic of the forest.

  10. all trees are magical….beautiful rhyme…

    • They are magical, we have some weeping elms on our Malvern Hills, they have eye-like markings, they are wondrous.

      Thanks for you comments, welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

  11. Watch out for those hobgoblin trees, you never know who or what is lurking behind them!

    • You’re on a roll this afternoon Mrs C-M! Having a jolly good catch up, ‘eh? :)

      • Lol – I’ve been bogged down with building work, year end accounts, writing up CPD and general dogsbody to my teenage sons! It’s a wonder I’m still sane!

        I thought I’d settle down to work on my second anthology, but too many distractions – lost headphones (oldest son), food to be cooked (youngest son), husband wanted to go shopping – there’s only the dog who is content! I gave up and thought I’d catch up with other peoples poetry instead!

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