The surface of things

Looking outwards
a hill topped
by ancient woodland
a pale-blue sky in which
the white clouds are drifting
slowly northwards

In the face
of a stiff breeze
the trees are standing
their ground
but there are dry
golden leaves floating
in the air

This is the season
of sweet chestnut
that soon I will gather
and roast and turn
into a delicious soup

Today no rain
has fallen
but at dawn I heard
the gnashing of foxes’ teeth
and shortly after
the raucous cry of gulls
unusual for them to be
so far from the river

Sometimes it takes
virtually nothing

for a day to be sublime

John Lyons


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