The Folly of the Damned

The wood where I was gone
for ages, on those Sunday afternoons:

lost in purpose, looking for the lithe
weasel in the grass,

stopped in my tracks, the way you stop
for echoes. Gone into the cool

of summer, passing the line
Where sunlight snagged in the nettles,

I wanted the pink-toothed
killer, the casual

expert, the tribal memory of one
who slips into the chicken runs of the mind

and works his way with something of my own
bright rage towards the folly of the damned.

John Burnside, ‘Lost’

Photograph taken at Woodchester, Gloucestershire, July 2018.


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