Spring 2006 Poetry Competition Third Prize

February, Westridge Woods

(for Liz)


Simon McNulty




Woodpecker break beats

High in the mistiness

Staccato ratcheting


Saplings’ water baubles

Punctuate the catkins’

Statement of intent


Traces of ancient hedgerow

Bulk above the path

Naked boughs slicked black with rain

Bent to a purpose

In misshaped youth


Grown elephantine

Deformed limbs intertwine

With feet of moss galumphing

To kick up shoals of ancient leaves -


Bones of the hill caught dancing


While old man’s beard still straggles on

I turn away from home

Down gloomy evergreen nave of woods

As far as the green barred gate


I acquiesced in the shape I was given

Now how shall I grow?


©2006 Simon McNulty


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