Overnight it hap­pe­ned
in the long, rip-flap­ping, tent-snap­ping dark­ness
and it made us sad that any tree should come to grief
this way.

When the wind-thra­shed, blus­te­ry rain-squall
bow­led in the day
we conso­led our­selves, you and I, willed
it would rest on its roots, that
all that was cal­led for was a shif­ting of gears
like a man who brie­fly loses his balance
to gain his own equi­li­brium.

In all the years of our long lives
it had given nothing away.

Now as we peer into its hol­low rim
how clo­se­ly we have come to see the vapour moths and
whose quiet indus­try has wor­ked its way
into the dead centre
of eve­ry­thing.


Libretos for the Black Madonna (White Adder Press, 2011)