In memory of Fr Charles, Shenley Wood, Bucks
Heaven envies the geese,
Not believing they’ll return to dust like orioles
And swallows. Yuan Haowen
A Song Thrush introduces the entrance
beside wreaths or garlands of honeysuckle,
on the way, I decide to miss the heart of Shenley Wood
and walk what Charles called my walk.
The pond of newts is now a cracked mud sculpture,
pairs of plump Wood Pigeons scatter, battering foliage,
music lifts attention, a slender skein of geese
swings over the trees, long necks calling softly,
the magic of geese trace the sense of farewell –
I arrived too late to say anything.
Beside the stepped ponds butterflies frolic
in the fertile warmth unable to stop for the camera.
Small velvet browns smaller than Meadow Browns
flicker thin white trim, two Small Tortoiseshells
mix with a honeyed Hedge Brown in constant evasive,
erratic motion – as if knowing they’re in decline.
I wish he could read these lines
held up to ripe summer light, glowing
as if in some reciprocal relationship
even as his eyes stay tight shut.
Tawny Owl, Shenley Wood, June 2017