Poem by Will Burns

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Waking to rain on the brickwork,

thinking time, right now, a kind of slow growth—

all stalled or superfast seasons, crisis and closure—

the hours bolted, minutes gone over

beyond measure and its stunted meaning.

Here in the newest part of the day,

the first half of the year,

the middle act of a human life amid all other life,

to turn away from the clock,

towards the freshly broken ground.

To know the soil is, at all times,

re-wiring itself to its own slow rota.

The field notes say two huge willow trees,

blackbird, blackcap, nuthatch.

Rows of seedlings, cards marked, under glass by the pond.

Things proceed as they must, still—

certain greens come and go,

fall in and out of favour,

winter’s small losses slowly amount to abundance,

and gradually our plots accrue their insects

and dead wood, become

the unpatterned patchwork of how things simply stand.

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Poem by

Will Burns

Will Burns was named as one of the Faber and Faber New Poets for 2014. His first full collection, Country Music, was published in 2020, and his deb… Learn more

This article is part of Issue #8

Cover of  Issue #8
Crisis Resilience Recovery

Themes for this issue include justice and the environment; refugee conditions; climate breakdown; infrastructure; historic extinctions; human impac…

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