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The Names of TreesKillian Faith-Kelly

Killian Faith-Kelly
+ posts


The Names of Trees




I should know the names of trees

and birds, and where to find them.

I should have this, poised to give,

to any who might need it.


Dirt should sit, be lodged, tattooed,

beneath my fingernails.

And I should know its feel, and

warmth, and temperament and taste.


But my nails stay clean.

Scrubbing is encouraged.

Unsightly is this earth to

human progress.




Unbecoming in an adult

is a child-like wondrous gaze

refusing age’s death for it.

Vitality defiant.


Offices, instead, contain

our suitable contentment

to know not trees, or birds, or dirt.

Or earth. And instead, pacify


the grit of primal urge

with a deflating relegation

to loincloths, sticks, and caves,

and forget, in them, the painting.



Killian Faith-Kelly was born in Belfast in 1997 and grew up in rural County Derry, Northern Ireland, before going on to study International Relations at the University of St Andrews. Since graduating in 2019 he has worked in the non-profit sector while writing poetry and fiction in his spare time.