Grove – a poem by Julie Sampson


Imagine you’re driving east from Bow toward North Tawton,
there, on a parallel trajectory
a massive army of shining swords,
tramp tramp of a legion on their way.

They came from the East,
we were watching
winter solstice sun
set on Cosdon to the west.

Cymbals crashed with lyres
cossetting air
before owls began to chant
and stars came out.

Nemetona, goddess of our grove,
white florals wreath your stones
red berries strewn on earth,

white bones drying beneath
our sacred ash,
the chipped axe of flint.

Their songs were steel
razing our sweet sanctuary
with blinding knife-light,
our men, mowed grass beneath scythe.

In this night we women are Ledas
and looking north on the horizon tangled roots
of winter’s blackened trees crossing our paths,
shuffle back toward us from futurity.

Seeded, deep in veined history,
they caress our feet,
wombs no longer rattling pods,

Julie Sampson‘s poetry is widely published, most recently, or forthcoming, in ShearsmanMolly Bloom, Allegro, Dawntreader, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Journal, Noon , Poetry Space, Algebra of Owls and The Lake. Her poetry collection Tessitura was published in 2014 (Shearsman).See







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