An Ancient Wood near the M40 Southbound

They stand for now as wooden cylinders,

bundles of papery straws encased

in sweet green tubes and held by silver strands

ringed with cork and coated in rough tweed,

solid fountains with their leaves splashed out

against their patch of sky, or droplets on the air.

The universe goes on around a tree.

The endless grubby roaring from the fast lane

goes on over their heads. They do not wait.

Trees never touch each other

unless by accident and dislike hands

and exoskeletons, metals, nettles, ropes

and ivy with its twining. Light, rain,

the space to stretch and send out seeds

this is their domain; trees live in symbiosis with

the birds that are their voice, and with the sky.

Now looking past what’s possible to see, up,

walking amongst these trees, their branches

scattered like hopes, the twigs a patterned clutter,

in a realm of circles, lines and silences,

in the strength of the wooden world,

the river of traffic is evidently over,

diminishing; its futile quest fell through.

Stand still and join the company of trees.

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