Sunday, November 15, 2015

Playing Dead

by Peter Branson

This autumn’s late, treescape and hedge dolled up
in party clothes. Dead wood’s been cleared, assailed
by snarling blade, teeth pulling torque and chain,
ploughed out, yet here’s an elm, its time well spent,
the sun-bleached corpus overlooked, as stark
as lightening tempered by a winter sky.
Like antlers, mast and gallants glow as white
as bone; some velvet bark clings on below.
Though dry as honeycomb in crumbling boards,
woodpecker holes beyond, like eyes in skulls,
the sculpted trunk’s a totem pole of lust.
Inside, where lichen feast and fungi dine,
vast confluence of creatures thrive, for, in
the wake of death, this constant wanton tide.

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