Walking, stooped between bristled lines
a no-man's land in the dark legions.
Soft needles, dead twigs underfoot,
sharp sniper branches jabbing.
Resistance is futile.
We move, folded in an envelope of rustling.
Dry branches snap, grab at clothing.
We mutter curses against those who planted
these bloody trees so close.
Who assimilated this hill.
A solitary bird gives alarm
otherwise, like the floor of a dry ocean,
all is dead and still.
Moss and lichen struggle. Grass never had a chance.
This is the basement where
all colour is saved, to flirt with the sky,
to sway, panning for clorophyll,
in the dreamed, copper-burnished storeys of light.
Ahead, green and gold escaping around the bars
of this colourless prison
a ceded ground, unplanned.
Sitka drones ebb around a lattice of fallen trees,
limbs chaotic in the new corridor .
We stand, our backs grateful for the space.
The beech had grown tall, chasing the light
Perhaps, she fell while dreaming of the sunlit days,
of cattle rubbing against her smooth bark.
Bird-garlanded, branches bright with green bunting
in song-buttered air, skittered by dancing insects.
Now, moss will cover impartially, yet with slow nobility.
The spruce lock roots, braced.
has determined this will not happen again.
copyright Iain Robinson, 2018