This wood is not about the old wives and the oak
or the ash that separates a summer from a soak.
And that afternoon when a sky turned dark,
though it might have been the Ark
itself as twelve men in Sunday drink had shouldered it
from the house of the last widow left
on Beaufort Hill, this is not about the front step,
the angle, lift and give, the driving curses of their stoops;
not even how, at a loss, they took at it with the axe
and nailed it by bits back; every loving cuff and coax.
Or how for years the doors would fall open
as if it was – loosely speaking – a lopsided heaven;
how it proved by the burning it was only wood,
as much this felled as when it stood.
And last with every man now decades gone,
singing, I push them down the Taff to Avalon,
the river become rain or a spread of that fire.
No. These are the stories. This was the weather.
(From The Never-Never)
And visit the marvellous Josephine Corcoran’s And Other Poems site, which generously hosts three other poems from The Never-Never, as well as an array of splendid poems from brilliant poets I much admire.