I walked up the path to the woods
again. But the natural rhythms
of growth, death and decay
were drowned out by machines.
A wounded hillside lay
bare and broken. Dying
trees no longer leant on neighbours.
Brambles curled like barbed wire,
bracken rusted the devastation.
The sky’s dead stare shrank
the woodland to a space devoid
of imagination, replacing the dance
of light through a green canopy,
with the simple facts of supply and demand.
Walking on, a murder sprang from the path
and flew, cackling with rage,
up and away, and I saw in the dank
light of Winter, the corpse feast –
the bones abandoned by flesh,
the moist stench of rot,
the red watery slime
shivering with maggots.
Here was no mild-eyed sob,
no moody stare into a lost horizon,
no righteous anger,
no monument of good works.
Here were the nauseous facts,
the impregnation of flesh,
the mindless madness
of lost balance, the endless
appetite of death for brutality.
And the wood circled me
with its catch of lovers and loners,
roots and tentacles in their own language
waiting for the ooze of protein
to seep through the dead leaves.