Tree on the Tump

The motorway is flowing and clear,

not long now, heart lifting at the sign

that announces the change of county,

crossing the invisible boundary line.


Into the ‘Shire’; the subtle skyline,

the variation between trees and church spires

both reaching for the hugeness of the blue,

the smell of rape fields and burning tyres.


Speeding towards the Malvern Hills humped

across the landscape like a slumbering vast

dragon, and the Tump at Whittington

rising to meet them: the enigma of the past.


Ancient sediment from beneath a vanished sea

or was Crookbarrow Hill a burial mound?

Man made determination to see it ascend:

barrow bones sunk deep into the ground.


How many have guided their path to the city

from the South by this perfect little knoll,

or stood upon the summit viewing the battle

between Roundhead and Cavalier, poor souls,


lost to the void, only the hill remains

and the one tree perched on the top.

I smile at the sight of it, flex tired fingers;

soon be home now, soon I can stop.


  1. Hi Ruth,
    My Year 5 class have tried to recreate your artwork ‘A Tree on the Tump’ during our ‘Worcester Week’. I was wondering if there was any way we could send you our pictures to gain some ‘critique’ from the original artist? They would be really interested and excited to hear what you have to say about their work.

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