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The Forest


Night climbs down out of the watching forest
and holds its breath to the sound of a bell.

A dog barks in a distant yard
and the wild pigs nose over the slow moss.

Stars ripen on their silent vines
and the darkness spills across the glistening lawn

stirring shadows up to the lap of the terrace
and emptying milk into the still pool.

It is the colour of the cold summer wind
and the taste of the moon.

The frogs have it in their croaking throats
as they belch drunk in the midnight mud

and insects tick in the knotted branches
and a moth taps the glass;

night is at the locks,
with gloves it moves over the keys.

The day will drown all this out
and send the velvet retreating into the trees.

For now the spores sigh among the sleeping stones
and the odour of pine stings like sour wine.