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.