Storm in the Wood


The air a tension held; the trees were mute,

The bracken stood immobile in a spell.

Birdsong was choked, a hawk in sullen sky

Hovered on pinions grey.  To deepest root

All things were waiting, still as a dark well

That at a sudden sign might spew on high

A geyser’s scalding stream. The rip’ning fruit

Hung heavily, each globe a leaden bell

Tongueless. No insect toured the ground, no fly

Threaded the thick silence with a voice minute.

Then like a tiger thrashing through the trees

Leaped up the storm, a deluge tore the ground.

Horned lightning clove the skies with shatt’ring sound,

Nature, relieved, writhed in her ecstasies.


Weekly times   18.3.60

(A memory of Hydon Heath, Surrey.  Aug. 1945)