Sunset In Wood

I'm not sure this picture does justice to the flaming colour hidden inside damson wood. We pick a lot of damsons and make many pots of jam and chutney. It's a beautiful colour, as most fruits are, and it never occurred to me that damson logs would be every bit as bright, in an oppositional colour.

All day the aeroplanes
Will pass overhead, regular
Cloud stripes tracing lines of
Escapes and returns

There are holidays, business trips
Emigrations, travels of many applications
My best reason for travel is that you often see
What you have best from a distance

Some people walk the earth
To find nothing, some people
Take one step to find everything
Even if it isn’t perfect

The branches are assessed, they are
Re-angled for dividing down into log sizes
The first two cuts make a platform, two
Wood lengths, to rest the branch across

The chainsaw zips through
Each suspended branch
The air smells of sap
I lift up each fresh cut log

In wheelbarrow loads the wood is
Pushed, over the thick field grass
And the sludge of the path
Up to the lean-to cover

Under the lean-to cover
The splintery sap leaking logs
Are stacked, to season out
Not too far from the house

 I get to know the trees, in cross section
Damson surprised me, the fruit being so dark
Blue-purple and the wood inside hides a loop
Around the heartwood, sunset vivid orange

Empty, the barrow bounces
In the mud ridges and the clumpy
Mixes of grass. Satisfaction of reloading
Is announced in clangs and thuds

There is always one load I cannot resist
I test myself. I enjoy the experiment
Too much to worry that the outcome
Is repeated. I return for the jettisoned logs


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