poem by Kate Radford
I have taken shelter from my kind among slow trees in the glen. Shaded from white cloud-light by waxy leaves – some spined, some smooth – layered in shades of green whittling the weak light to bright points of white. Underneath here is wind and the second-hand rain (a morning's leavings on the twigs) and ivy moving across the brown earth as motes of stars or houses lit in the dark (a pilgrimage of plucky green across a foreign forest plain). I am alone in my speediness my quick stride my lightning life for here among the mouldering memories of fall holly trees walk. Coming, grouped in twos and threes they bend their slender trunks and walk one-legged down the hills. They herd a host of rhododendron whose branches splay out wide in their wild ramble to their stone-bound paddock. I almost hear the sound of their stampede – a braying, and a rattling of branches – – the booming of the holly: (away to me!) (come by!) – as they who show the hills the meaning of haste head home from primeval grazing on the heights.