A Wind

A wind came up from the south and the west
The spent fury of a fierce, foreign storm.
It blew in powerful gusts through the spinney
Where trees grow so close they clamour for space,
Their branches, now bare, reach for the light
And clatter together — shuddering music of wood,
Enough to startle an unwary passer-by.
High in those thin fingers are clasped
Bundles of twigs, abandoned nests like notes
On the storm’s musical score, of quavers, semibreves,
Minims, crotchets and hemi-demi-semi-quavers.

Each wind has a sound that belongs to itself
That sings of the lands and the seas it traversed.
To a listener it tells a story of its birth and its death
Of the damage it caused and the sights it has seen,
And how it has reached the end of its journey.
The sycamore, birch, oak and even the alder
Bend this way and that, the last dead leaves
Tossed high in the air, scattered in fright;
Only brambles retain some edges of green.
Close by a stream a blackthorn’s twisted branches,
Cling to the Gilbert it grabbed from the sky, a try, a try.

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