Leon Trainor: ‘Forest’


Be careful what you contemplate.
A forest is a state of mind
unto itself, it might seem
to reflect your moods but eludes
what you think you thought. When it’s time
to focus, nothing is defined.
Butterflies might soar at its edge,
sunlight-splashed to the tallest height,
but will not dare penetrate
shadowy corridors of branch-
enfolding branch; at its base
an echidna circling a tree
lets the dark, flat prickle-mat blur,
dissolve back into a choke
of undergrowth whose lyrebirds
slip through tunnels the mind won’t see.
Indifferent to its denizens,
the crowding, shrouding trees embrace
the shattered trunks that writhed and broke
in winds as loud as Pentecost
with voices from another place,
too different to be understood.
It responds only when the moon
rises out of its gathered host,
remembering when it first began
and sap flows, time and time again
through every fibre of the living wood.

Leon Trainor

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