Archives for the month of: May, 2011

Our new pine forests,
not what we once had, they’re gone ~
But our own, now best.

When we were youngsters,
You could get no better day,
Than one in the pines.

Their permafresh smell,
Their hidden depths ~ dark green womb,
The wind, filtered sounds.

It’s a sterile world,
The adults tell us, knowing
nothing of our blood.

And in an emerald clearing
There is a particular light;
A hind, silent and still,
Stares back at you ~
And you know you are at home.

In bloom, so you are,
Grand flowers, plates, ersatz leaves ~
The better for that.

The first of your kind:
Made Ceratopsians sneeze ~
A shock of colour.

Pruning suits you not,
and sure, why should it? Pointless ~
Give us more flowers.

This land is so old,
doesn’t even realise,
How evil it is…

… but after each Spring,
you blanket the soil ~ a gift:
A bed for Angels.

In youth, form a spear,
full grown, many hurls from you,
more sporting battles.

Warriors running,
through dense woods, bent one foot low ~
Flexible as you.

Into the clearing,
helicopters, carriers ~
Your seeds are falling.

Pinnate leaves ~ axis:
Streets, each off an avenue,
feeding the centre.

In youth, stands of spears,
black tipped, upright, numerous,
for harder battles.

Ginkgo biloba,
Your name itself promises,
Something special.

160m years
You have grown slowly, surely ~
Intermediate.

I imagine you,
Surviving the attention,
of Ornithopods.

I clear Cotinus,
To allow expression ~
Our living fossil.

An uncle’s sure gift,
When we move, you will also;
Won’t leave you behind.

The Field, on a ridge,
High Summer, above the bog,
No shelter for miles.

Beside bright blue skies,
A wall of grey approaches,
on the horizon.

Myself and Hawthorn,
Are going to get wet, drenched,
Nowhere to run to.

Hawthorn is bent, sparse,
product of high Winter winds,
No succour offered.

I sit under it
anyway, a shared soaking.
Waves washing over.

Bright again, trudging,
down the road, farmer passes,
he’s shaking his head.

I don’t blame Hawthorn,
It’s a survivor ~ Next time,
I’ll bring a poncho.

In violence
the yews, hewn,
Perform their shapes.

Upon the ridge
an old syncline
frog spawn, forgotten pheasants,
remnants from the end of The Ice,
our family, there…

… by the chimney
in walls, by Harold’s Cross,
they bear witness, for my brother.

Poison, for some reason,
well fertilized,
slow growers, they’ll outlast the tombs.

And yet,
familiarity breeds comfort
they are friendly, solid,
in their pure, dark, green.

Horse Chestnut, candelabras;
In Spring, mini trees upon trees;
White and pink flower cones;
Moving slowly in the breeze.

I once convinced
a boy of unsure stock
that they lived, just like him:
a look of pure shock.

Set squared by buses,
bursting by ev’ry street light;
they measure the seasons,
a familiar sight.

We stored conkers
this year, each sprouted a shoot.
A new tree from each, perhaps,
we’ll allow them take root.

By the dappled bank,
Crouched over the black canal ~
A roof formed, a path.

The weeping willows,
They know only how to take ~
Are never giving.

Those beneath in groups,
as often not; each their own ~
Best be passerby.

A root, part submerged.
There lies a bee, in stillness ~
No longer working.

I gravitate there –
Looking for something, once lost ~
They can’t give it back.

That Birch is your friend –
of that much be sure;
In offense or defense,
its loyalty is pure.

Its life giving sap –
Its fire friendly skin –
Its dappled striped bark –
Its promise within.

A beaker, a spear;
A cure for your ills;
Food from its bark;
Paper for wills.

That Birch is your friend,
both young and old,
will be true, as long,
As ours rules our road.

Acorn
Given time
Rules all

Wisest
Oldest
Knowing

Oak leaves
Denote
Heroes

Under an oak
A sacrament
A joining

In Derry
A bronze sword
is cleaned in the Foyle

Gateway;
A giver
of New Worlds.

© Duncan Cleary 2011

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