Watch the oakleaf unfurl
like a newborn eager to grasp the day
his palm a diaphanous yellow in spring
in summer fleshes out a darker green
the veins spread, he tightens his grip
on the sleeve of his branch
weilds his lance, jostles for space,
brushes the elm, fends off the hornbeam,
foils the pine, the thrust of the sleet and the lunging wind
until autumn announces the end of the joust.

He quietly falls to earth with his rivals
lies in sprinklings of orange and red
like blood shed which nourishes Earth.

Beyond the forest the land is smooth-honed
smothered, barren, the colours have fled
and the joust gives way to a
knife slide and stab for a
sterile slice of market yields.

Here in the forest chaos is slow
trees take their time to catch the light
filtered by fingers of rowan and beech
mixed with the breath of birch and pine
they ussle and turn, bend and bow down
until there on the silken bed of moss
the oakleaf lies severed, withered, expiring