Winter 2006 Poetry Competition First Prize

The Wood and the Trees

by Nicola Garden


The scent of vapour rising, hidden streams

Of budding birch, of garlic, earth, of spring;

The tail-end wisps of winter nip that team

With tales of triumph: animals that bring

Themselves unaided through the frozen moons,

So close to man, invisible, unknown.

I envy them the map that God has drawn

Upon their brains.  We weigh the odds alone.

He gives us words and choice and prayer but

The clues He gives confuse and contradict.

Outlandish baying. Dogs? A stag in rut?

In March? Aroused, I wait. The flowers picked

Forgotten. Overhead a flight of swans

Sweeps clean the winter’s dregs for summer dawns.


 ©2006 Nicola Garden

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