Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Kentish Requiem

At the shaw's edge, side by side,
Oak, ash and thorn
Laid out like corpses on a battlefield;
Once shadow-dashed by dogfights
As men fell in their turn.
Their antecedents saw
The seasons and the Civil War
Ride by;
The herdsmen and the harvests,
A Saxon's hand on seed;
Betrothal bells and baptisms;
Pilgrims, pigeons' wings.
Moon on moon the hedgerow waxed and ebbed.
Watched the grandsons and the grandsires,
Man and ploughpair;
The wise yews bowing on the hill.

* * *

Heard the yews fall.
Reached out...
Fell themselves before the storm.

Brother Tobias
20 October 1987

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