We do some silent, mindful walking
to observe the world’s impermanence.
First, along the track, through the crowding birches,
to a brick witness of the USSR,
a collective farm-building abandoned since.
How time slips between the gaps:
roofless and crumbling, every window frame acute,
the concrete stripped back to rusting iron.
Young trees live here now, plumes of wild green,
lifting branches gripping the manmade joists.
We stand in the rumpus of regenerating woodland,
and there are no ghosts, only a small frog.
I think the past survives only if we preserve it.
Second, down the road, to a campsite and car park,
treading down the steps, along the forest boardwalk.
Pine cones, moss and mushrooms spread out away.
We reach a spring, the largest in Põlva County.
The litres rise blind from their ancient caverns,
push up silently into the light.
Ceaseless water makes a slight dome,
its surface moving, its form holding firm.
The cleft it comes from leads deep, goes down,
its darkness stained with red oxides –
a mother-mouth of earthy fountains,
the rock-steady gift of welling water,
flowing away, reflecting the sky.