We Were Kids

We set out as kids
On summer days,
Rummaging through
The undergrowth
Beneath sycamore and elder,
With mists of cow parsley
In the balance of our eyes
And swathes neck deep
On every side.
We were explores
Cutting the pungent stems
With machetes made from sticks
And the magic designed
In childhood minds,
Mapping uncharted banks
And the untended nooks
Behind garages,
Where cut grass
Disgorged from the garden’s arse
Sweated in heaps,
And old bikes
Were colonised
By wild grass
That rustled as we pushed by
On days that ranged so broad
We couldn’t perceive their endings.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Primordial Stream


We set off up the stream,
Beginning in sunlit glade
And shimmer of water,
Licking each golden stone.

A pair of wagtails flit bold
In their territorial patch.
The banks are meadow flanked
But soon rise to steepness.

Beech and oak find purchase,
Dappling and putting much to shadow.
A luscious gloom settles, heavy
Breath of deepest, dimmest forest.

The stream becomes primordial,
Carves bowls in stone, cups to which
Birds might sip and swallow swirls and falls
As channels form slowly deeper.

Moist darkness crouches in
Underhang and ferns as endless
Kingly crowns sprout in revelations
Upon the earthy tiers, and foxgloves

As colour pronged diviners speak
To purple heavens reaches.
Trees too die. And some span the crevice,
Long ago fallen and half rotted soft

With moisture’s seeping ingress,
Wearing a jewellery of mysterious
Polyp, their woody hearts absorbed,
Transformed to plate-like fungus.

A coat of moss clings to every
Surface: beard of the forest
Spirit, wizening to bark and stone
Alike, a mat of tendril and twisted

Whiskering leaf, bog wet and reservoir
To humid air’s closeness. And gnats,
Fast in an escaped sun beam, find their
Golden scribbling above a still pool

And with their swift speed mark the
Quantum stillness of the hollow in the
World where time flows only as the stream,
In gurgle’s timeless ever movement down.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015.