Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Monmouthshire hedgerow (Wonastow, January)

"No, I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be"
T S Eliot, The love song of J Alfred Prufrock

Stark against the skyline, bare branches
Reach up from the frozen land,
Skeletal fingers grabbing at the sky.
Caught, perhaps, a mist descends.

Moisture collects, runs along the bark,
And drips on rustling leaf-litter below;
Nestling in the fork of a leafless beech
The only patch of green is mistletoe.

White berries show among the partnered leaves
Singular fruit of a barren season;
They say in winter, when all was dark,
There came a man to light the world.

The chill cloud now enwraps the field;
I turn for home and button tight my coat,
The bitter berries not for me to taste:
The blank horizon is a lesser gall.

Martin Locock, 1997

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