CAUGHT IN CONCRETE
Misplaced upstart sycamore,
shooting from damaged concrete.
What drives such green confidence,
sprung as you are from wayward keys,
late buffeted by autumn elements
and the caprice of a council leaf blower?
Flying against reason,
stubbornly mocking the odds and gods
with rude and purposed growth,
some imperative demanding vigour
as if you’re earmarked for higher service,
out of reach and unknown
to this observer.
When you become fixed,
will you stop and take breath?
Will you then regret your roots?
Should we consider relocation now,
free from a cemented aggregate
destined to limit lofty plans?
I offer my services, lost tree.
I have a spade.
The shed was an apex all-wood
erected that furnace of a summer
when we burnt in the shade
and our feet turned to leather,
a backdrop of screaming swifts
swooping like mad dot banshees
in the forget me not blue.
We stood back and admired
the woody quality of its sturdiness,
overlooked the imperfections;
worth the blisters and swearing,
seed drawers alphabetically labelled,
garden tools hanging in place,
as we toasted our cleverness
and soaked in the homebrew.
Beginnings then followed:
new this, new that, till the shed
became part of the scenery
while the expert moved in,
ostensibly preoccupied en route,
unnoticed, overwintering in a crack,
casing the joint for suitability,
tasting the wood like a connoisseur.
Then as we prepared for the year,
quietly, purposefully, she graced our space,
moved in, gnawed, chewed, sculpted,
moistly applying the axioms of Euclid,
compound eye, to mandible, to shed,
constructing a near-spherical beauty
while laying dynastic foundations
we felt privileged to observe.
ONE STEP BEYOND
Thoughts trapped in bubble wrap,
as the wind becomes muffled
and all progress stops.
Two thirds so far and no farther;
a shadow rigid against the render.
Time frozen, like a seized up mechanism,
as the aching in arches grows
and calves spasm in protest.
Panic rises with the pounding in a neck,
with hands gripping aluminium
and legs locked on one rung too far.
Along with any feeling in dead fingers,
a fool’s confidence in early steps has gone,
reality dawning in the prospect
of a concrete experience.
The ground beckons below:
come fail an impact test, it whispers.
Everything lost in an instant,
the truth of one move left;
waiting to kiss the pavement forever.