In the quiet forest, nothing stirs.
I hear no sigh of leaves, no woodlark’s song,
only the moaning of the bracken.
I see your boot prints in the sand, puddled
with rain, the claws of a dog beside you.
Your lips are silent as the pines encircling us.
I follow you across the heath, past bones
of birch, faded moor-grass, heather.
You teach me not to fear the adder’s hiss,
point to vanished things –
ancient barrows, herds of aurochs, tarpan.
You show me how a kestrel’s wings
blossom in the emptiness of sky and heath,
how the gorse flower burns with a wild light.
I feel the chill of rain on eyes, ears, lips
and in the gloom, I see the ruby glow
of toadstools, moss the green of paradise.
Far off, I hear you whistling for your dog.