This valley curves, he says,
just like an upturned hand.
It holds us gently.
His hands are carved from wood,
cragged over time. They’re strong enough
to lay a hedge, and soft enough to graft a tree.
He knows the right amount of twist
you need to pluck an apple from
its mother-branch. He works hard
but he knows to pause and watch
the rolling flutter of the fieldfare
as they cross the winter ground.
He puts his head back, gazing up
to catch the fierce joy of
the wind-tossed rooks.
The wild hare knows him, meets his eye,
the deer steps daintily towards him,
leading her fawn. They’re not afraid.
And yet we know
that any day now he could just shrug off
that rain-soft jacket that he wears,
that sagging hat, reveal the green fire
running underneath his skin, and let
the green life sprout and shoot and tendril
come spiralling and spilling from his singing mouth.
This is for Brendan at earthweal. He asks us to write about the spirit of a place – and keep it local. If you like listening to poetry, there’s an audio version here:
And iI’ve linked to dVersehttps://dversepoets.com/2020/10/22/mtb-let-your-words-ring-out/