An unforseen planting


The woods smell of smoke
curling from the allotments
where the old bush burns;
beyond the black-etched trees
a flaming smudge of scarlet
brands the horizon.

Birds carol tidings
as I turn into the hedgerow
keen for encounter.
In plots of dark earth
women work their spades
recycling dying gods.

How holy is their toil!
They’ve dug into the ice age
and beyond, until—
through sweat haze and smoke—
in the twilight’s last gleaming,
the new gods arise:

worm-clad and grounded,
wise as the starry night,
fecund and joyous.
The two diggers freeze,
joined in my astonishment
at the fruit of their labour.

The birds are now silent,
the sky blazing with glory
as the sun sets
over the fields
with the unforeseen planting
of a wildish devotion.

and dissembling,
I piecemeal this poetry.
The seed has gone underground;
implanted in a rich red soil,
the new

Poem by Nora Leonard    Photo by Celine Chamberlin