They live in the boles of trees,
squeezing through holes at the base,
where roots gnarl over-ground,
catching dying leaves, winged seeds,
the spore of fungi,
the hairs of insects’ legs
in pools of rain-showers.

Deep beneath,
where tendrils drip and feel
into the moist earth,
they work,
whittling at fallen branches,
flaked bark,
gouging wood into the shape of plant-pots
with elfin faces, green men coughing out
leaves, shoots,
sculpting the birth of trees.
Their tools are sharpened stones,
chipped flints,
bodkin-sharp bones of squirrel and fox.
The miracle is
how they get to markets unseen,
sell their likenesses for pence,
capture the imagination of someone like me.

Intersecting Lines

Derby City Poets