Majesty

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Cold as condensing night
Shadows permit
The dew plump air
Burden’s respite
In perfect spheres
Scattered release
On every magnified
Leaf top, crevice and edge
So the garden is justly jewelled
And each strand or stalk
Or equal cobweb,
Gilded silver light,
Is for a moment
Raised from damp
-To king-
And robed in crested finery
And majestic, sparkling transience.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

It Rained In The Night

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The air is moist
And humid heavy

But fresh
With new rain,

Still dampening down
Still weighing

Each leaf droopy,
Each bended stalk

Gravity bound.
Some flower heads

Are dew drunk
Lively, plush

And open eyed,
As perfect

As purity
In droplet spheres

Expressed
Upon the petals body.

But some are dashed
To autumnal fall:

The rose
Shaggy on its swollen hip,

Curling
And fading tears

Scattered in the falling.
It’s as if

The night could
Reach beyond

It’s dark boundary:
Wet finger tips

Invading the day
Or morning, at least:

Its species
Conveyed in fluid:

The slugs
The snails

Putting down
Their silver trails

For the sun’s
Open touch

And glitter
In awakening.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

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

Voracious Hunters

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Intent on the new leaf
They hunt
By gliding night,
Sensing every
Quivering first bud,
Every glimpse
Of a shoot
Emerging
From the earth’s
Protective coat.
And in slow,
Slow pounce
They are voracious
In their work
And in their appetite,
Stripping their prey
To the tattered
And skeletal
Ragged flags
Of a former glory.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015