Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hays Coppices

by Peter Branson

Where youth is drilled in ranks, green copse, as yet
un-thinned, or cropped at root, or pruned head height,
stands proud, where Mulch-Dick, elfric, dryad, hob-
thrush, Churnmilk Peg abide, rouse loud hosan-
nas for the lord of light, I raise this psalm.

Late autumn, dawn, a hostage to the night,
has broken bounds, line dancing wild delight
with darkness in retreat, his coppered feet
stirred embers glowing on a charging breeze,
like flick’ring pages from the Book of Kells.

Each step resolves a moving screen, sun strobe
between gaunt, pewter-clad  George Greens, wall-eyed
young squaddies on crusade, who guard, straight-bat,
defy importunate desire, this blind-
ing woodland glade, the midnight fox on fire.

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