As frost smothers fire at the fulcrum of dawn, you
are there, hands burrowed in your fleece, ambling
round our garden, past Silurian ferns.
Wood-smoke drifts from November’s stoves. Leaves curl
and crisp. The greenfire burns down. It will take all year,
as every year. You’ll dig firebreaks, back-burning,
turning the soil of this once ancient forest.
Then you will plant Promethean seeds, refugees
from their futures, potent as fennel, sage or chard;
feel like a caster incanting their names, in Latin, to row
upon row of green tongues and tendrils. You
will finger and thumb them with char-soiled hands.
In Spring, you will set these greenfires again. Sprinkle water
as fuel and fan their flames