It is only a wood,
Lord Massey’s wood.
In turn each human eye that saw it,
Saw its inner allure,
Called it fond borrowed names,
Killakee, Mont Pelier,
Whatever was in the heart?
The adored land adorned in hunting lodges,
Gardens in walls, Mr Turner Glass houses,
Cobbled Avenues with Araucarias,
A Palladian villa, Niven’s statued garden.
Where Long skirts thrashed the heather,
Weekend guns rose and shot.
In this beechen paradise the lovers
Poised on terraces,
A troubled city below.
The haven turned in on its own greatness,
Appreciated by aristocratic sighs,
Here a radiating pine from Monterey,
Here a Wellingtonia dwarfing a mountain sky.
The canopies clouded.
The vision dimmed.
The lovers, shadows in the dark.
The last, penniless, at the gates,
Collected twigs from his park.
The possessed dispossessed,
Brambles trapped the glass,
Sycamore infested and reclaimed.
Beech squeezed like dough into embankments.
Inept Conifers darkened together,
The Place lost heart.
Where love assembled,
At the entrance on a post,
Figures, lynched for a Dracula
Horror! Bizarre! Eerie!
Pandas, a happy foot penguin.
A Saint Bernard grumbles and warns.
The Gothic, the wood within!
Ceremonial limes, bewitched in twigs,
Birches festooned in cancers,
Tyres in wire hang like swings,
A Soweto necklace for each tree limb.
Heart burned Sequoidendron,
Stanched by concrete,
Baskerville hounds, drooling,
Charge through laurel, Fearsome,
Freed from some barking
Yard in a November estate.
Leaves flee the avenue……
Rush by my shoes,
To the gate.