The Forest of Arden

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.
Now the…

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