#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

Cursed ground

It’s just a patch of grass, as

green as that around it, yet

yellow and black tape cordons it off.

Why? What is so different, so dangerous, so other

about this patch?

Is something buried underneath,

alive still, twitching, itching to reach out,

grab ankles, uproot itself using umbrella mushrooms?

Maybe the other grass blades

simply decided they didn’t like that little patch,

that tiny section, that huddle of earth and sprouted seed.

Perhaps they can see something I can’t,

trapped in the details, their canvas of perfection rattled

because of the few individuals declared

broken who refuse to wilt under their gazes.

Or perhaps those cordoned blades

decided to erect a barrier themselves,

electric anger spiking

at being stepped on one too many times.

Poetry

Spy

Dawn comes, crisp yet quiet.

Leaves stir on its breath and rise up to land on the window ledge,

locked tight

like the rest of the house.

A robin spies an insect on one of the leaves,

and flutters over to snatch it.

Its beady eyes meet large, pale ones

through the cold glass,

hungry and wild at seeing a creature move about so easily.

The robin is unconcerned, considering only

that its momentary distraction has now cost it its meal.

Poetry

A chat with the ground

I was with the skull all evening,

smirking at its cold jokes.

Our breath came out in backwards hymns

as it spoke of what death is really like.

I said to it that I wanted to shake its hand

for giving me such relief.

It replied that

one day, when it worked up the energy,

it would reach its arms out of the earth

in daisies and let me pick them.

Poetry

Those lost fauna

I can step into the shadows of their skin and feel

the warmth bound through me,

the earthy closeness of those burrowed days

nostalgic and pure.

The rains come and nourish the ground,

and when the skies clear to leave me

alone on the grass,

I whisper their names to keep them alive

for another year.

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

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.