Alder stand in sparse surprise
In this green band
Between the cold sea
And the flames of civilisation.

Between the sea and civilisation
Lie the hulks of fine vessels,
Once full of life. Carried by the wind
Or stronger currents, they settled
To become established at last
At landfall.

Once fine sycamore, this noble acre
Has lost its grip to the wreck of time,
Or fire,
And now is filled by ash and alder.

© Martin Porter 1995

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