#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 10 – Living Grave

So many times, I’ve walked past. Seeing but not seeing.

For this giant’s footprint, this decayed and blackened skeleton

has long scuttled from my attention. But now I                  pause.

Vague architecture

ripples into sense:

Steps morph into centuries-old roots basking on the soil’s surface,

the ankle-high wall surrounding a stump-table

melts into remains

of an even larger trunk, worn smooth by time’s fingers.

Five of me could stand inside and still not knock elbows.

I bet

it was Lord of Trees once,

before disease or the elements or man

finally beat it down.

And though the realisation

that I’m hovering within its bones strikes hard,

I don’t mourn for long.

How can I

when this humble grave teams with life?

Fungi, lichen, moss –

they decorate its bark like the echoes of new growth.

Climbers and creepers seek its grain, grasping

it like a helping hand, a boost of support

for their own roots.

And here I am, connected to it all,

part of the quiet bustle that takes place despite winter’s clutch.

This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise funds for UK wildlife charity RSPB and to encourage an appreciation for nature. If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing it and/or donating to the RSPB via my Just Giving page here.

Help keep wildlife wild!

Poetry

Splinters

The splinters of the branch slid into my fingers

as it snapped at the force of my hand as I tumbled into the tree.

Blood beaded down the bark and caught on the tip of a serrated leaf.

The red mirror showed

how little I’d changed

despite being shoved out of line, convinced my place was over here, not there.

My hair was ruffled, but still mine.

My clothes were covered in cobwebs and lichen, but still mine.

My eyes were wet and open, but still mine.

The blood dripped from the leaf and was instantly swallowed by the soil.

I stood up.

Poetry

Last glance

She leads him

To the mirror pool

Where she tells him to dip his hands and drink.

She doesn’t say when to stop,

And so he continues, draining the pool.

In his belly, the shards of the mirror form, and

He sees not the blood from the wound in his middle,

But the faces of his children as they play,

Oblivious, in the fields below.

Poetry

Powder puff

I stare out at the breeze lifting the fushia flowers from the plant, seeing

only fairies with puffy blossom skirts

and skinny legs dangling out beneath.

When they fall to the ground, I think, ‘Oops, there goes

another one who was too weighed down by her dress.’

Visions like this come often;

bursts of another world thrown

at me like powder at a colour festival.

I drink them up and let them buzz inside me for the rest of the day.

Poetry

She reaches forward now

Bitter, the pills slide down her throat

recalling the shock of months ago.

She thought she’d buried it, good and gone,

but they said she has to face it now.

She cannot keep running on a tape stuck on rewind.

Mind seeing what was, not what is.

She’s being broken down to atoms

so she can be rebuilt.

Possible, but outside of time.

Poetry

Waiter, there’s a wasp in my soup

I have white noise in my head.

It layers itself over everything my brain is trying to do

and the only way I can turn the screen

to a semi-smooth grey

is impair my senses

so my receptors can focus on one at a time.

I don’t want to be trying to read while having an audiobook playing

and a graphic novel flicking pages all at once.

I want what I see, hear, smell, taste and touch

to be a well-organised orchestra performing a waltz,

not one who’ve had their instruments switched with scrapyard junk

trying desperately to tune up what can’t be tuned.

 

Poetry

Take off

My wings spread, feathers brushing the dust away from the flight path. Goggles down, I cast my gaze ahead and jump. Wind tears at me; a gale. It flurries up, causing my momentum to surge off course. The tick of the second hand on my pocket watch counts the moments I plunge down — the sound a boom, cannon blasts in my head. The updraft catches me in her firm hold, clasping me tight against her bosom, correcting my flight. She deposits me on the take off platform where I started, urging me to try again. We all have to fly by ourselves at some point.

Poetry

Oracle of Ages

The trees always smiled when I entered the forest.

I bet you think that’s

odd.

Trees can’t smile.

But they can;

look closely.

 

With their slight shimmering

of branches,

they always asked why it was so long

between

 

visits.

 

I would reply the same way each time.

‘So I may never take this peace

and solace for granted.

It is easy for moments like this

to go unappreciated

until the time we can share them

no more.’

 

Now, trees are ageless,

pensive beings,

who see much loss in their lifetimes.

Yet no matter how they try,

the fleeting, finicky

minds of humans

are quite beyond them.

 

All the council they gave was, ‘Surely

the wonder of a moment

pales beside the wonder of an age?’