Nukhak, Unearthed, The Nature Present

Nuthatch” by Koshyk is marked with CC BY 2.0.


Softened now
in name,
the bird does not 
make a song 
and dance, but dances
playing the trunk, 
grip tight, 
on bark, striking 
every note, 
closing in 
on the next 
unwary snack, 
crevice tucked, 
and plucked,
a brief caesura,

– the movement 


time has turned
a cast-off bowl

into a curving,
solid map 

corner buried,
garden brambled,

its crack junctions
now fractured

hubs, the vacated
networks of a life

The Nature Present

For months it is a drunken Y,
twisting, not quite steady
on its planted feet, a cussed
presence, dark spiked and gnarly,
softened only by the furred patina
of the lichen on its branches,
knots and wrinkles worn heavy,
some distance from the whiplash
elastic shoots of youth – but then,
like an aching clubber, is drawn back
irresistibly, to the dancefloor, by the
honey-hook of a pulsing May, the sort
of tune old limbs do not easily forget,
suddenly it’s spring, thick, green again,
and to prove the sap still rises, the tree drops
all the classic moves, revealing blossom
scarlet-pink enough to make a fuchsia blush.
And a young boy, not much moved by plants,
is stirred, recalls for this one birthday month:
that’s a hawthorn, my nature present’s back.

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