Call it a wood,
And nothing more, and you will not be wrong,
But telling only half the truth. This is
My own cathedral, with more glory caught
In every bluebell, tender hornbeam bud
And papery anemone than vast
Vaults of Caen stone and acres of stained glass.
And also it’s my study: living trees
Tell stories that the dead wood of my desk
Cannot recall. And it’s my schoolroom, too:
Repository of wisdom of the earth
And every lesson worth the learning. Here
Are life and death writ large, the wheel’s slow spin.
And this is my apothecary: I find
In its rich scents, soft light and shaded paths
The sovereign remedies for all my pains
In heart and mind. And it’s my sanctuary:
The fears that stalk my days and nights don’t dare
Pursue me when I claim protection here.
And this is my great stronghold: bastion
Against the madness, ugliness and noise
That lie beyond its green, enfolding walls –
Call that the world.
This is a blank-verse reworking of a piece I wrote a year or so ago. I’ve had a bit of a week of it work-wise, so writing some iambic pentameter between phonecalls this morning has been very soothing: form and subject matter coming together, I guess. I’m afraid I wasn’t up to rhyming it as well, though! N.