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Ash Tree

This elegiac poetry collection about love and loss was first published by Prole Books. (August 2013)

Ash Tree is a poetic testament of love and grief; the journey of a grandchild's battle through cancer. Millard is witness and chronicler, touched by hope, anger, frustration, despair and love. In spite of this her writing avoids sentimentality so its weight, balance and assurance speak directly to the reader.

Prole says: "Sue's work charts and celebrates the short life of her granddaughter, Naomi. ... we don't mind admitting that it had both of us weeping by the end."

In her foreword, Gill McEvoy says: "Millard has expressed Naomi's story and her own feelings so strongly and so poignantly that I have felt deeply moved…"

"Not since I read Douglas Dunn’s Whitbread award winning Elegies in 1985 have I been so moved. I cannot commend Ash Tree highly enough." Janni Howker in Ink, Sweat & Tears, 2013

Pamphlet cover of Ash Tree - road and ash tree in snow


Paperback 1st edition

Paperback publication date : August 2013
Publisher : Prole Books. ISBN : 978-0-9569469-8-0

Buy Ash Tree (1st edition) from Prole Books


chapbook cover Ash Tree


Paperback 2nd Edition

Paperback publication date : July 2021
Publisher : Jackdaw E Books. ISBN : 978-1-913106-13-3

BUY Ash Tree (2nd edition) in paperback


chapbook cover image of Ash Tree poetry: ash tree in snow


Digital 2nd edition


2nd edition 2021 for Kindle.

ISBN : 978-1-913106-12-6

BUY Ash Tree (2nd edition) for Kindle

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I am very grateful to fellow poet and novelist, Janni Howker for reading many of these poems with me for a poetry project in 2012 and I thank her for giving me permission to use two of those audio files as "tasters" here.

We ask you to please respect our copyright and our bandwidth by not copying or linking the files in your own pages. You can post links for people to listen to the files here.

Mini Rally - listen: mp3

Ash Tree stump

I can see you, high
on the stump of the old ash tree
waving jazz hands
at the Mini Rally passing,
and jazz hands waving back
over their steering wheels.
I failed to photograph
your bouncy spirit
but I still see you there.

© Sue Millard and Janni Howker 2012-2013

Over Night - listen: mp3

little town street

There was a full moon last night.

Rising through trees, its round face
shone bright and idiot-calm,
as the same moon two years past
saw your long farewell begin.

I went to bed, and dreamed
I stood outside your house, in its tight
little-town street, and the door was shut
and the windows dark. Clouds hid the moon
and someone else
slept inside.

Rain wetted the street—not the wild
rain of the fell, that hisses on the wind
and smacks like surf—it touched
old roofs, new-painted walls, impartially,
cloth-soft and without passion.

When I woke, it had rained in truth—
sweetly cleansed all,
like a baptism.

© Sue Millard and Janni Howker 2012-2013