Judas trees in the park

A misty, mizzly day with rain. A relaxed day, with Lorraine doing some needlework. I recorded part of a Skelton episode, and spoke to Mum.

In the afternoon I made off briefly to Hollingbury Hill which was misty and shrouded in mist. On my return Lorraine and I had a mooch in Blaker's Park. I like walking with Lorraine in gardens as she loves looking at plants and budding leaves and flowers. I thought three purple flowered, round leaved trees were Judas trees, as I won a tiny poetry competition with a poem that featured one, so I think of Judas trees as elusive arboreal pals. Nice to discover them so close to home. Back in around 1987 I had been lurking in the British Museum and found a picture painted in India called Babur alters the stream. Babur was the first of the Mughal emperors who was actually from Istalif in Afghanistan. The image shows him in his garden changing the direction of a stream, which is of course symbolic.

I just disinterred the poem, which was published 32 years ago, below. And below it an image of Babur from the British Library. Not sure if this was the exact version I saw, as it may have been a common theme to paint. Not sure where I got the Judas trees from, as there are none in this image but I seem to remember researching it thoroughly at the time.

Babur at Istalif
Certainly this unruly stream has beauty
but I am here to alter the course of the stream,
to straighten its curve below the slopes
because the memory of these holm oaks, these planes
and the purple flowers of the Judas tree
must be made perfect. I know I’ll dream of them
when I have left Istalif and have ridden
through the arid lands to further my line.

Therefore I tend this sapling memory.
In India I will order the warring states
I will make more quartered gardens
I will remake this place with soil
from the garden buried in my heart.
And there I’ll plant six plane trees. Look! I see
myself in the first, held by a fruiting vine
wound round it like a woman, or my destiny.