rachael Clyne's Coleford Oak oak

When you give yourself to a place
it lodges in your bones.
Its mossy woods remember secrets

you poured into its waters
your struggles through mud,
it gave you visions, songs

to sing to its racing stream
oak to stand solid against your void
hazel tips to brush skin

wren’s beady eye to watch over you
its hearty clack for courage.
One night, years after,

you lie awake and remember.
You long to return to the bend in the stream
where aconite and orchids grow

where imagination swift as the current
is caught by stoop of alder
rooted in black loam.

Your heart skips a beat as you walk
over the rise down the slope where
your grief emptied itself.

The stream now swollen
with winter’s drenching
its banks, a mudbath.

This time you stagger through – laughing.

Rachael Clyne lives in Glastonbury. Trees have always been a source of inspiration and comfort for her. Her work appears in various anthologies including: The Book of Love & Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age, The Very Best of 52/. Magazines include: Tears in the Fence, The Interpreter’s House and Domestic Cherry. This poem is from her collection Singing at the Bone Tree, winner of Indigo Dreams’ Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize. Photo by Rachael.