The Elven Oak


‘the tongue is the spine’s first leaf’
……………………….– John Berger

If what you say is true –

and it must be
for whenever I repeat it
to myself
I grow taller,
taste rising sap –

then grief,
that sour clench
in my stomach
at the news
of the loss of your voice,
is the burl of the torso:

a barked knot
of wild grain
that warps the birthing ring
of this new year –

but worked
by careful hand
may convert a canker
into our re-enchanted Earth;
and left to age
give courage girth.


Naomi Foyle
Jan 2 2016


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One Response to The Elven Oak

  1. Pingback: Jenny Diski and John Berger: In Gratitude Both | British Writers In Support of Palestine

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