Friday 5 January 2024


Whose woods these are, I think I know;
They belong to my friends, Coco and Joe.

What if there were no fear, or loss,
but hawthorn berry, instead?

What if I could tell
hazel and maple apart,

not because one had more beauty -
there are rosehips, don’t forget,

and Vibernum Opulis
and crushed, scented pine.

Some catkins are soft green 
caterpillars, plush with rain.

I learn a new story now
and again - like how rosemary 

got her name - Rose Marinus -
‘dew of the sea’.

Everything ages. The cork
of the field maple marries moss,

and somewhere in the low bramble,
wild strawberries; 

deeper still, the badger sett,
a whole world underneath.

And high above, birds calling.
‘Where do birds go when they die?’

Joe asks. ‘Why don’t they fall 
in great heaps from the sky?’

Perhaps Merlin knew. Or Arthur, 
when he was a boy, not exiled king.

What if we could go home?
What if we were found, instead?

Poets Open Link Night at dversepoets


Petru J Viljoen said...

Loved this. The last sentence especially.

Kim M. Russell said...

Your poem reminded me of my daily walk, where I was used to seeing lots of different berries, but the birds have been feasting on them. I love the hint of colour in the rosehips and the evocative ‘crushed, scented pine’. I will think of rosemary as ‘dew of the sea’ every time I see it in my garden or in a pot somewhere.

ben Alexander said...

Shaista, your poem "In Badger's Wood" is a beautiful exploration of nature and introspection. The imagery of hawthorn berries, catkins like plush caterpillars, and the stories within the woods creates a vivid and enchanting scene. The blend of curiosity and reflection adds depth to the narrative. Lovely work! 🌿📜

Much love,

Oloriel said...

Beautiful poem, and I love the way you combined the poem with the images, it simply gives off , to me, a certain vibe of innocent melancholia. Thoroughly enjoyed!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I drank in the beauty and peace of this post - your poem, your photos - with such relief. In this dark old world, here is light, and wonder. The beauty of the natural world, always there. Absolutely beautiful, Shaista! It lifted my heart.

JadeLi said...

"Everything ages. The cork
of the field maple marries moss,

and somewhere in the low bramble,
wild strawberries; "

I feel like I'm walking this sacred space with you.

Grace said...

I like how you captured nature in your walk. It is my favorite thing to do too.

Dora said...

Just a gorgeous homage to nature's variety and the magic it plays on the senses, how rich with imagery and love of life this is! Beautiful, Shaista.

Badger’sWoodCoco said...

Beautiful, beautiful poem & photos…Such JOY to have you with us for a little while…Hope spring will bring you back to Badger’s Wood ��

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