Chalk and Chase Nature Poem Walk. July 2023

Fontmell Down

Placing my liver speckled hands on the
Screaming cantering vines
That envelope the smooth as mother of pearl
Bark of Sparkling Silver Birch
A soft sigh dents my tight chest
I look Up
I reach between its bony stiff knuckled crevice
And languish in its knit one pearl one lichens
Comforted in unexpected beauty of edges


One by One the Silver Stirps will fall
Some suddenly, others gracefully fade
Knowing they had this forever view
Holding up the gales from Fontmell Down
Creating only the merest tickle on their sharp concertina Leaves
Masts of this coracle whispering wood
With no mammal noises
Gusts barely lifting fresh Horse Chestnut
The chalk ridge blows with pursed lips
Until the proud line defending this place
A microclimate of stillness
Behind the Birches


The line of Stirps along
The gossiping tittle-tattling grasses
A merest tickle of their concertina leaves
Detonates a thrumming thunderclap
Cannons discharge up from magna
These Masts will see you home to safe harbour
Signing the power of attorney shows me
A shaking root
Of anxiety he works hard to mask
One by One the Birches will Fall
Some brutally, some fading away from inside
Leaving the deepest loneliness of being the last to fall
But thinking they had this forever view
This Line of Silver Birches