Symbolically Concerned


dodona oak (the tree of life) sheds leaves
nutritious-which feeds blood and mind today
there’s not a jot (from which the present cleaves)
can be dispensed with — all life’s array
from first to last has leaf-mould in its clay
eve is that apple she took her bite from
the best and worst can’t thwart its dna
head-shaking won’t dislodge that first aplomb
which even now keeps thought under its thumb

so much in self cries out to be made clear
a yearning glimpse confused by so much bracken
a touch of gold the sun wrings from the drear
and lightest hopes too often seem to thicken
fulfilments near at hand come cradled stricken
(oh read the cards — they’re face down in the mud)
but figures at the dawnside faintly beckon
step back from grief or wrath — an untouched bud
dares to suggest a wisp of hidden good

not to be made too much of but discerned
and wrought into a pendant (gold inlaid)
where tree and flesh (symbolically concerned)
look to a future longing for their trade
the apples fall but core is not dismayed
behaviour’s but a passing itch or sneeze
(a moment’s cost but plaster-cast not jade)
in caverns long sight-lost an ancient frieze
cries for new eyes again (a smarter breeze)

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