JULY 2020


              To a birch tree


During the  coronavirus lockdown


You stood still. I passed you by

Unaware of grass or sky.

Pestering  thoughts beset my brain

[Same obsessions, same old pain]

Grumbles buzzing in my  head....


Then -  but how? - you stopped me dead.

No, not dead – but wide aware,

Free to catch my breath and stare.

Breezes stirred; your branches quivered.

Greenest leaves awoke and shivered,

Shielding tapered trunk and silvery bark...


Time too held its breath and granted me

Sight of perfection in a mortal tree.

 [Just one of several in our little park]


Becalmed in joy I stood, but then

Time began to stir again.

Why not stand and watch forever?

Hovering commonsense said  ‘Never.

‘Off you go: return to  duty

Share your glimpse of hidden beauty’

Briefly blessed, I made my way

Through the park to everyday.

Not so weary as  before.

Locked  in self-concern no more.





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© 2016 - John Coutts