Ashridge, May

To wander here and now carefree with shaded eyes
along the avenue – directed, firm and almost straight –
in cool air, north breeze air, morning air, unbeaten by the day.

To turn aside and linger caution-slow
under the spreading broadleaf canopy,
lightning-struck, storm-thinned, newly unfolded
and side-lit from hazy patchwork groves,
treading through leaf-litter fallen
deep and rich with years, a place

on the dropping edge of history,
the cusp of learning, being and experience.
To be broken-strapped but not dismayed,
stopped wide-eyed to glimpse
the fallow herd across the wind, shadows
through shadow as it distances away.

The forest needs no explanation:
its stems and seeds entwined in those who wandered,
its stillness borne away by those who’d hear….


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