The wild plum, uprooted and filling
the garden with leaf and greenlight
offends you. It does not die
but sends out the most delicate of shoots.
I cover its roots with damp soil, support
its trunk with a spade and the prop
from the clothes’ line.
You need your trees to be vertical.
It knows your frustration and continues
to grow undeterred, quietly collecting
birdsong in its phloem
tucking it away in bright sharp notes.
It stores breezes in its leaves for still days,
rain in its roots for dry days,
holds in its heartwood the blessing
In its cave I am held safe and invisible.
My whole world is green.
I am absorbed into the planet’s breathing.
I hide below, beckon you in.
you will swim with the fishes tonight
your white face looming aghast at the deep
the rasp of fin on your cheek
they eye you like some monster
as your arms wind in sheets of water
from a windswept line
green makes a horrible black and the figures
and fairyworld lights swim above you
as if through a lens
wish hard you had not worn this full skirt
wish hard you had not drunk more
than you needed of wine
a necklace of planets bursts in the current
sweeps into space
while the river floods in
you really ought to swim
but it’s all too much trouble
you’re far down and drifting
panic, that darkly unsettled bird, has flown
doves bubble softly in your skull
bubble softly in your skull
they are here every morning
reminding you the window’s open
and there’s something you must do
there is something you must do
but the light slanting through belongs
so sleep, sleep again,
there is no longer need to rise and breathe
the brittle air
Jane Lovell has been widely published in journals and anthologies. Her work is steeped in natural history, science, folklore, the ‘black’ and the bizarre. Jane won the Flambard Prize in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Basil Bunting Prize and the Wisehouse International Poetry Prize. She is the Poetry Society Stanza rep for Mid Kent.
Jane is currently working on her first collection This Tilting Earth. Her pamphlet Metastatic is to be published in 2018 by Against the Grain Press.