Clare Hornsby

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Britwell Hill

For Matthew

Here, where poems grow on trees 
Like mushrooms after summer’s rain
Paths are skewed by swathes of
Elderberries, blackberries, rose hips, sloes. 
Cedars sag and beeches soar and spread 
Beyond our need to bond
And trim experience. 

Whereas the old guys -
Keats, watching a stream in autumn
Or Rilke, deep in his castle of anxiety -  
Coin with ease their vocabularies of nature 
I hesitantly form in bits and bites
Only some sense of it. 

But then they never had
My smooth speed down empty Britwell Hill 
Which opens up before me all the west
Plotted, pieced, chimneyed, mapped
Spreading behind me as I go
The cool embracing sky.

Oxfordshire, September 2015