The Green Zone
Uncivil wars unending.
I need some peace.
Evacuate the building, the home front,
Escape the urban battleground,
Find the nearest green zone.
Open fields discover me.
Grassland, some wild, some like a mown carpet.
Blue sky, high clouds, distant hills.
Kestrel at a hover, grace with wings,
Sun burnishing its back.
Golden warmth on my face.
And then the sound of trees,
A shushing hushed whisper,
A million leaves in motion.
Fills my ears.
At the margins, a pause.
Then slowly, through the tall portal alders
And into the woods.
Fulgent sun dapples the canopy.
Rays leak through leaves,
Speckled gold on the woodland floor.
Branches like open arms waving a welcome.
Trees in formation,
A hula troupe swaying in unison, hypnotic.
Distant traffic sounds murdered
By the peace keeper trees.
I see drilled woodpecker holes,
Nests unoccupied now.
One had been squatted by blue tits.
I see cat walks and rat runs,
Hear birds I can’t name or place.
I smell fecund life
And pungent death all around me.
I see no other human being.
Here in the centre of the woods,
Next to the sunk estates
Of my rusting home town,
Just a few hundred yards
From other home fronts,
I find my peace on earth.