A great poem. I love the lines “The full throated chorus/Of the surge of new life” and the contrast of friend and foe within nature.
When did the forests pass
From being our friends, our shelter,
To become home to our terrors?
Once our playground, the grass
In glades cushioning our tumbles;
Our larder, filled with fruits and nuts,
Home to boar, deer, pheasant,
Wild garlic, mushrooms and truffles;
Our haven, protection
From oppression by pow’r hungry
Barons, from raging tempests sweeping
Destruction across our tepid
Lives, from the pitiless sun,
From the stares of judging men.
Dappled light, bronzed evening delight,
The full throated chorus
Of the surge of new life,
The wren’s shy fluttering,
The urgent squirreling mischief
And the badger’s stately secrets
Belonged to our home world.
Was it in the flesh stained
Trenches, or the dark industry
Of genocide that we stepped
Through the wardrobe? Those are easy
Targets for explanation,
But hope left the forest
With the sunshine, brambles tangled
The pathways drawing blood
From the fleeing ankles.
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