Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Hampstead: The Horse Chestnut Trees"

At the top of a low hill
two stand together, green
bobbings contained within
the general sway. They
must be about my age.
My brother and I
rode between them and
down the hill and the impetus
took us on without pedalling
to be finally braked by
a bit of sullen marsh
(no longer there) where the mud
was coloured by the red-brown
oozings of iron. It
was autumn
or was it?

Nothing to keep it there, the
smell of leaf in May
sweet and powerful as rutting
confuses me now, it's all
getting lost, I started
forgetting it even as I wrote.

Forms remain, not the life
of detail or hue
then the forms are lost and
only a few dates stay with you.

But the trees have no sentiments
their hearts are wood
and preserve nothing
boles get great, they are
embraced by the wind they
rushingly embrace,
they spread outward
and upward
without regret
hardening tender green
to insensate lumber.

--Thom Gunn

No comments: