• Aoife Reilly


“Live from the roots, learn from your leaves” sang the tree

silver branches snaked advice around the winding tributaries

of a beech against your skin would often sing

sonatas in wooden chimes, a four-part harmony of lucid bark holding you

in weaves of arms and tree limbs until you could settle

into your own seeds

There was a time you tried to rip up weeds by the leaf

grabbed at plants in their earth bodies, hunted humus

on the forest floor, rummaged round for young shoots-

you had to learn the hard way about gentleness and haste

And though it seemed strange, the time came to be guided

by those without face or voice, beings that live from the earth up

who wrapped your heart in the woods, eased your skin meet tree skin

helped you to hear how the land drinks water

Only there you could ask life about the things you think matter

all these measures of dark and light and if your love was worth

the cost of happiness, only in the sanctity of green

could you drop it all

in peace.