Once

Once, I was black earth,
made of spores and secrets.
I lived by mother silver birch,
and dreamed to be made
of leaves and bark.
Once, I was a tall tree,
worshipping the sun,
branches brimming joy.

Later I was the shock of blue
in a magpie’s tail, body
chattering with stories.
Later, I knew the footsteps
that follow birdsong,
then creep back to the fireside,
in a choreography of feather trails.

Next, I knew the hearth,
the weight of an eiderdown,
the pearled embers hunkering in.
Everything returns to dust.

I cannot leave, shake off
this shapeshifting particle cloud.
Sooner of later, I will return,
in delicate as a minnow,
in the white stream, threading
through slick rocks,
finding my way.

 

Alison Jones is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom. Her pamphlet, ‘Heartwood’ was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018, with a second pamphlet. ‘Omega’ forthcoming in 2019.

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/alison-jones/4594492474