This year’s theme is ‘The Environment’ so here’s a poem from my new book Startling.
Tree of Knowledge
Unseasonable damp heat seeds spores,
a contagious grey pallor curls the tips of leaves
into fists. I cut off the mouldy shoots. We are
writing this poem together. Stray trusses stay
out of reach without tilting a shaky wooden ladder
against the snaking trunk to clamber into uncertainty.
A woman, no scholar of gravity, who planted a sapling
(Saturn, Tree of Knowledge) bought by post
from the British Library, I want the poem and its tree
to last longer, survive. The fruit’s just starting to set,
downy thumbs of sweetness, apples-to-be, mildew
and artless balance willing. Inside the poem,
unrunged, inside nature, might we catch sight
of love and know where we live?
Before the launch next week at Durham Book Festival, I’ll be hosting a workshop looking at how we might turn our concerns about ‘the environment’ into writing that catches the attention and has the potential to change minds and spur action.
You can find more information here. Look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at Clayport Library on Friday 14th October 4 – 5.30 and later at 7 in Collected bookshop. Lx
The poem is actually in couplets but once again I am confounded by WordPress’s blunt formatting – or my own lack of technical know-how. And so I surrender to digital wabi sabi and bow.