After the Storms

Gold and silver fingers reach
Pleadingly toward the sky
From ivy-tangled soaken sleeves,

Trunks wheeze and wail
With shuddering breaths for their
Splintered and fallen
Sisters and brothers

Broken, cut, drowned and rotting
Where the sun scarcely dares
To warm the edges
Of dark puddles in the carpet

As sheep gather, stranded
In the middle of a new island
In a cloudy cluster standing
Above burst river-banks

While the two o'clock January sun
Shines like September in
The hour before dusk, lying low

And seeming through glass
Still to be warm, yet warning
Of a chill that is to come,

It reflects off leafless limbs
And bleaches matted patches
Of cut grass at edges of fields and
Dripping motorway ditches in the Midlands

While the West dreams of dry days
And sweeps driftwood and dirty deposits
After a nightmare of high tides and howling winds.


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