Grevel Lindop

Three Poems


The surgeon swings, a spider on his thread
across the oak. The chainsaw glints and sings
arm’s length as he reaches for a bough,

dark on the sun, to slide his gleaming scalpel
through the first limb. It totters, shedding spray,
dropping askew into encroaching shadows.

The land stares nighttime in the face. The sun’s
a crescent glaring through a haze of cloud.
The saw growls restless as the birds fall silent.

The tree’s a map of veins and he’s a clot
dark at the centre. It’s an outstretched hand
where he strolls, twisting, round a finger’s base

to stroke it, gently as you’d comb your hair,
and leaves a disc of golden wood to blaze
naked against the dark rind of the trunk.

Sun and moon will go their separate ways,
the tree recover and proliferate.
We’ll burn the logs. The surgeon will be back.


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