Cringlebarrow Wood

Sometimes when the heart’s a thing so bruised
by its winter labours for the god of work
that it winces even at the smile of sunlight,

one should go to a wood that is older than England,
a wood with lime trees of a lineage
as ancient as Stonehenge. And one should

lie there on the brittle litter, on the damp
deep rot of what has dropped through time.
And look up. The leaves, lit by sunshine,

or played upon by ragged and heart-shaped
shadows, are moved by the choir of the canopy
which knows no tunes, only joy, and bursts forth

as if part of a musical called ‘June’. All the words
whose sharp corners had pressed the chest
rise to silence on butterflies’ wings. Wolves

that had poured from the mind’s far north
to worry the innocent beasts of sleep
learn to see the beauty of loosestrife.

And this is the temporary forever
of clearings in the wood, of useless beauty,
we long for and find again in poetry.

Posted: Mon 11 Aug, 2014