Eleanor Broaders' ode to Sheriff’s Wood: I wrote the poem after a visit to Windermere and my discovery of Sheriff’s Wood just off Lake Road. A real hidden gem with a stream and a waterfall tumbling into a deep yawning sink hole at the Bowness end.

Eleanor Broaders

Sheriff’s Wood

Entering Sheriff’s Wood

Was like stepping into a cathedral

The central path, a long nave,

Bracken and bramble arranged

Like pews on either side.

Oak and birch in priestly robes

Of green velvet moss and

Twists of braided ivy.

The canopy in all its shades’

Stained glass windows

Filtering the light.


A veteran tree pruned

And severed of branches

It’s gnarled roots curling downwards

Gripping the stony ground,

Stood like a Totem Pole

Staring at nothing

Seeing everything.

White flat capped fungi

Jutted from its bark,

Communion hosts

Offering life after death.


Birdsong filtered down

Like confetti at a wedding.

A stream running in riffles

Over rock and gravel

Pooled by a fallen log.

Its blue slate bed holding

The colours of the woodland

Like an artist’s pallet

And warm dappled sunlight

Flowed, like a balm of peace

Through a wounded heart.

© Eleanor Broaders

Header image © Copyright Graham Robson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.