It feels good to be out
On a damp and vague evening such as now.
The air thick with fog
And the smell of wood-smoke
Stale and familiar as my father’s old jacket.
The land wears December concedingly, huddled under
farmland and pasture.
Ravaged bare by the cold, as fungus lays waste to flower
Sparrows sing bolder than the cold of dusk
But just as blue –
A multitude of bells struck
With damp dowels.
Patches of yellow and rough-cut starched logs stand
For the summertime.
Clusters of blackberry bushes,
And hopeful stocks for the gardener’s fire –
Both now decaying, the latter likely to host
Earwigs, bore worms and stag beetles.
How the winter rots the deadfall for ambition’s stove.
Clouds fill the southernmost hole in the sky;
It is not quite cold enough for gloves.
Suppose some of the birds are leaves also.
Trees’ secret messengers –
Wrens probably –
See them flit through the still woodland
Sporadic, pirouetting, and brown
So dainty in flight
Then they land –
And disappear again.
The woods are still once more, and silent.