Brother Hedgerow

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Sometimes
He is broad as thicket
Or enclave copse.
Sometimes
He is thin and sparse,
With but an eyebrow’s tuft
Skirting the field boundary.
Sometimes
He is lone bramble
Upon a flat plain.

But always,
Wherever he rests
He is tangle
And vegetal mess
Of thorn ramble
And nettle,
Dry stick and twine
Woven to nest
By birds
Who feel the home
In his charity.

If he had friend
In the human field
He’d call scarecrow
Brother,
For he too is silent
And watchful,
And made
with a bundle
Of dry stems
Plumping the body
Of his jacket.

But still he is beautiful
Though he is ragged:
For in April
He is delicate
With hawthorn
And blackthorn bloom.

And in June
His foxglove reach
Invites bees
To a hundred purple gullets.
And wild honeysuckle
Are his delicate hands
And the pale instruments
Of his fingertips.
And upon his brow
Are white elder crowns,
Sunward seeking
And scented.

In September
He is ripe and juicy
With the blood of elderberries
And the pert invitation
Of blackberries strung
Like necklaces,
Many and fruitful.
And crab apples,
Hard as stones
Grow gnarled
While sloes
And wild plums
Are succulent on every
Loaded bough
And branches’ reverent bow.

And always
At his feet
Are the rustling species,
Snuffling and foraging
The dry shadows:
The timid shrews,
The field mice twitching,
The hedgehog unfurled
And fearless
And the Badgers
Trotting pathways:

All these
His tender friends
And tenants
To the openness
Of his limbs,
Gathered snug
To his rosehip chest
And the leafy beneficence
Of his embrace,
Herbaceous and enveloping.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Pottering In Identity

He strolls
Among his trees,
Pushing the barrow
Before him:
Work neither heavy
Nor light
But on the balance
Of his good shoulders
And measured
Equal to the pace
Of an afternoon
With wind
Constant in the pines
And sunshine
Inching the hours,
Shadows dialling
The length of the day.
There is deep satisfaction
In knowing his land:
The microclimate at the far end
Where a puddle makes a winter stream.
The row of oak
Marking the boundary
Is no less his own,
Nor the gentle slope
Not other
Than his home.
There is something primal
In his ownership,
A regal spirit
Felt deep in his guts
And through the soles
Of his feet,
An energy felt
As though the ground
Itself could speak
And claim
The man,
Just as the man
Claims the land
As his identity.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Flawless

angel

Clouds
So touched
By sunlight
And it’s setting
In the west

That they might
Harbour cherubs
In soft folds
And angels blushing orange
Upon the gilded edge.

In vapour robes
Of salmon pinks,
Moist in cirrus’s
Spiritual clothes
And cumulus draped
Upon their bodies

Like light
And sky blue complexions
To make their face
And eye depth
Flawless.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Loss

I miss you
In the corner of my eye:
A shape in my periphery,
The you
Who dwelt
In the near regions
Of my world.

You have passed
Leaving
Just an echo
And a shadow
And a wound
Where the life
Once burned.

Your goneness
Is the distance between
My missing part
And the grip
Of my heart
That holds the past
Of you still being.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

The Dream Of The Balancelle

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En Francais
Il es une balancelle

In English
A swinging chair

Hung in the languid air
Shaded by the rustling oaks

And caressed
By a honeyed breeze

In to which
The birds twitter

So the mind
Is temperate

As the perfect afternoon
And thoughts

Are spaced
As the young apple

And the quince tree
In the orchard

And time
Is the lolling arm

Let loose
From a snooze

And the comfortable rocking,
Gently to and fro,

Dans le reve
De la balancelle.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Dawn Of The Blood Red Moon

Summer mist collects
In pools beneath the trees,
Seeps and infiltrates
The copse,
Coats and clings
Like breath to the river bank,
Disappears things
To the cool substance
Of dreams.
The ephemeral magic
Of the unseen
Dampens
Yet holds the scents
Of ripening crop
And the soil’s loam
And the must
Of summer grass
Sweetened and distilled
To perfume
Annotating the earthen land
Below the moon
Glowing waxy
And vast
And so low and close
And red with the blood
Of myths.
And for just a moment
Man’s potential
Drifts in the red possibility
Of the clouds
And the moon is a heart
And the mind is rich
In seeing,
And any question
Brought to the lips
Finds its home
In the instant
It manifests,
In satisfaction’s pale light
And the full lunar fact
Of wisdom’s beholding.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015