Songbirds are hungry for light.
They develop patterns
on the near dark sweep
of the vacant valley.

Dawn fits into the shape of songs;
the shape of oaks,
the shape of acorns
and the shape of birds.

Branches lock into each other
as water blueprints
the edge of wind.
Birds are as ancient as days.

They fill every available space,
where being is nowhere
but the stream unfurling
in patterns of leaves.

Green fingers cultivate the sky
with implements of song,
in an action as deliberate
as listening for water.

Susan Taylor is a poet living in Dartmoor. This poem about an oak tree growing in the lane close to her home was originally published in her collection ‘The Suspension of the Moon’ (Oversteps Books) and later in The Mirror in a poetry column edited by Carol Ann Duffy.