A poem from the woods

Hazel Hill

Hazel Hill Wood, September

The trees: roots sewn through sandy
soil, pleated leaves embroidering
the sky – a ladder between leaf-mould,
the snails, the tiny hurrying of our lives,

and the stars, whose slow deaths light
the modest hand span of our night-time
skies. The trees. They root us in ourselves,
but point our thoughts upwards. I cannot

imagine the world to come: it’s only
given to me to bend and witness
to the grace of a neon fungus, growing

on the rings of a felled tree; or freeze
to watch the deer, seen only
as they startle in the bracken, and disappear.