Sky Tree Sky

Sky Tree Sky is a long poem based partly on the journals of the Scottish field botanist David Douglas (1799 -1834).

David Douglas was a naturalist, botanist, explorer, surveyor, rifleman, linguist, and one of the first mountaineers. I was first attracted to this material by his voice, which reminded me of Henry David Thoreau. Douglas speaks of a vanished world: travels with the Hudson’s Bay Company, and with the French trappers known as the Voyageurs, and with his many Native American and Hawai’ian guides.

Douglas’ descriptions of the Pacific Northwest give a glimpse of a great coastal and woodland culture. Douglas befriends many members of the ancient tribes of the forests and American steppes. He describes border wars and tribal strife, as well as vast trade routes, forest farming, family life, and humor. He also records the first plagues to ravage the coastal people.

Sky Tree Sky is a poem, a travel book, and an ecological adventure story. David Douglas meets the latest Robinson Crusoe on Juan Fernandez Island, explores the Galapagos Islands fifteen years before Charles Darwin, and becomes one of the first mountaineers to climb Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Mount St Helens. He died botanizing in 1834 on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

My new book Sky Tree Sky has been published (January 2024) by Alien Buddha Press.

Available on and

Sky Tree Sky: D’Arpino, Tony, Buddha, Alien: 9798871868201: Books

Two book launches for Sky Tree Sky took place in Bristol, England at the beautiful Heron Books in Clifton Village and at the bohemian nightclub in the cellars of the Berkeley Square Hotel.

Other Recent News

My poem Celyn (Welsh for Holly) is published in Volume Poetry, Volume 4 Issue 1
(March 2024). Celyn – Tony D’Arpino – Volume Poetry

Bristol Lyra Poetry Festival 2024.

My poem Pero’s Bridge was featured in the 2024 Lyra Festival Bonds anthology and exhibition at the Bristol Beacon, curated by Ralph Hoyte and Martin Rieser.  It is also part of an audio poetry walk with sound pools centered on Pero’s Bridge in Bristol’s Floating Harbour. To see the poetry film of Pero’s Bridge click here PEROS BRIDGE (


I won the 2022-23 Winter Anthology contest for my poem Trees of Iceland.
The Winter Anthology — Trees of Iceland

Two poems were published in the 2023 Bristol Lyra Festival Walking Words anthology. The Ancient Forest and The Urban Forest can be heard in an audio sound pool centered at Royal Fort Gardens.

I was pushed offshore in the 2023 Hotwells Festival for a wild poetry reading on the Grain Barge.

‘White Bird’ by Jane Furness (1931-2020)

Moby Doll

goddess of lust
protector of ships
we took a walk
on the edge of a world

we were just passing through
collecting songs for our white doll
it was a forest ocean planet
pretty cool and hotter than a spar

sky trees and buried stars
world-islands of little cakes
hidden in an amulet
meadows and seas

trilobite fakes
repeat our dreams
to someone new
scum of the meteorites

your children are my children
your ancestors are my ancestors

Moby Doll was first published in Raceme #9 (2020)

Thank you for visiting my website. It is a poetry portal. You will find information on my books, a selection of poems, and links to other worlds.