Grey wraith shades rise as sun day dies,
three trees forlorn in lonely still,
to stay the night, unseen, but there,
a desolation, greened earth tumps,
where xylem rushes, phloem supplies.
Unless it is the dawning day,
hope springs already from grave sky,
deciduous, so life again,
fresh budding when cold winter passed,
where hill climbers may find fresh fruit?
They throw their lot, they gamble die,
prevent a tear, sneer smile instead,
a regal cloth to cloak the night,
to veil a site too bright to bear,
but bare it must, due rent is paid.
But will it dawn, the signs be read,
both light and dark, through leaf and bark,
the garden sight near Babylon
where apples grow and vipers bite,
proud men build towers where tittle tat?
What marks our skyline, journey end,
event horizon, universe,
the vanish point beyond our grasp?
On summit top, in rubbish slums,
these are our plots for sacrifice.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had some 190 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Poetry Potion, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/