#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 21 – Something About Leaves

The way they poke up from the ground, peeping moles at first, growing braver every day until all at once, it seems, they spring out full force, declaring, ‘I’m here!’

Sometimes, they arrive swaddled within themselves, and day by day they unwrap a new section – like a long game of pass the parcel with only one piece of wrapping – and the prize is all their delicate veins and bobbles finally getting chance to stretch.

Then we have those that simply step out from another through the thinnest of slits: ‘Door’s open, here I go. Bit of a squeeze, but I can manage…there!’

Pop. One new leaf.

Of course, we mustn’t exclude the coiled fronds which roll open in yo-yo fashion.  Chlorophyll-rich tongues lapping at the sun or arching gently over the moist soil of riverbanks (or that shaded brick wall you’ve ignored forever).

Branches wave and shake, responding to the seasons. In a disco spread across months, this barely perceptible flailing culminates in the arrival of buds that push out green sails, ready to carry the plant on to its next stage.

Blossom!

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, ‘traditional’ fundraisers etc.) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.

If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!

Poetry

Fossil Hunting

The door to shut the world off

is much lighter than the one to open it up.

Vulnerability is covered by a heavy cloak;

sharing your innermost self is difficult

when those feelings have already begun to fossilize.

 

So when someone appears to sift

through the layers of rock with gentle fingers,

letting them find you is daunting.

Emotions that you long thought had filtered away

spring back,

 

filling you up so much

that they tip you off balance and send you tumbling

into the rock pool, sprawling among schools of uncertainty

and trying to find a way out

that won’t crush the gentle life within

 

but also

won’t cut you and open old wounds.

Yet the hand that found you

won’t let you pull away and hide in the dark;

it challenges you to stay and observe,

to find a way of gaining your footing

even when all sides present a challenge.

 

Poetry

Unsaid

You’ve got my back; your firm hands grip my shoulders

as I lean into you and filter the weight of the day

from my limbs to yours. Not all of it,

an even distribution so we can both still stand.

With a smile and a nod, we walk with our arms linked

and our steps synchronised, enjoying the bond

that was always a potential and has now flowered.

Words go unsaid because vocalising our thoughts

isn’t necessary — they’re in the twitch of our fingers,

the skip or slump of our feet

and the spark in both of our eyes.