A piece of paper, bark, thin bark,
white, silver birch, spread flat,
white, pale brown stripes, horizontal,
vertical, just a plain white backdrop
with little decoration. Just that.
Diving into the water, over and over
and over again; swimming out to the
boats, back, up the ladder, off the
harbour wall again, and again, and again,
all afternoon. An afternoon
shot through with sweetness, friends,
water, the sea, salt water, what we're
made of. And now just
a white background and
a loudly beating heart.
Gulls calling in the distance.
like a forest
at the edge of
Thick. Like treacle.
As I live through my fallow time,
my fallow season, when everything lies
dormant, a long winter, as I bury
myself gently in soil, and stand it
in a dark and peaceful place to rest,
fallow, dry, holding the seed
of myself safe, as ancestors peer down
from the forest, weaving shapes in the
landscape, weaving meaning in the sky
and the soil
and the waving branches of trees
on either side of the road.
And the distant glimmer of the sea.