Emer Gillespie

Emer Gillespie: Featured Poet


Plant me underneath this tree
when you think I’m dead. Don’t
bury me standing, or flat in a box.
Instead, place me straight into the ground,
on my side. I want to become this tree,
feel it become me.

By then I’ll be tired of rushing,
it will do me good to lie still for a while,
wrap myself around the roots,
seep into the sap, enjoy the calm solidity
of its slow beating heart.
When my flesh has gone, fed the earth
I lie in, leaving only bones behind,
then I’ll take a branch line to the sun.


Emer Gillespie is an actress, novelist and award-winning scriptwriter.  She lives in London with her family and other animals.  Poetry is her passion but only very recently has she begun to send out her own work.  Last year she was one of the finalists at Live Canon.

6 thoughts on “Emer Gillespie: Featured Poet”

  1. Emer, It’s really good to see you and your work here. I always enjoy the philosophical elements in your poetry. This one has a wonderful permanence about it – “when you THINK I am dead” and I love the way you lead into the last line (with its branch line) as though the tree itself is helped to provide a pathway to another place. I very much like the idea of someone being reincarnated as a tree – it’s a solid and convincing poem. It very much connects me to Buddhism and the times (when I was much younger) when I sat cross legged under trees in India – but that’s another story of some lovely memories your poem has evoked. Thank you.

  2. I’m holidaying in a remote part of Lesvos island and now and again we get random internet connection. So today is my lucky day because I got to read this poem – it’s very moving and beautiful. Thanks.

  3. The calm tone of OKness and the clear images of your poem challenge me to see myself in the ongoing cycles of nature – and see the beauty. Trees are powerful symbols.

    Thanks Emer. Lovely.

  4. Similar to Valerie, I really like the “think I am dead” line – that it’s someone else’s perception, not necessarily an actuality. This piece evoked a real sense of peace, almost like coming home, very effective.

  5. Thank you all. Seeing this poem here and reading your responses has had an extraodinary effect. I keep seeing this tree in my dreams in a morning mist – not a tree I already know but I will know it when I see it. Ex

  6. You gave me such a lovely feeling of recognition because that’s how I want to be buried, curled up on my side and with a tree if possible, perhaps in a shroud but I’m not sure yet. You’re the first person I have come across who shared these needs. Thank you. Jean Forster

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