The Wood by Peter Burrows



Peter Burrows is a librarian in the North West of England. His poems have appeared most recently in Marble Poetry, Northwords Now, Dream Catcher and Coast to Coast to Coast. His poem ‘Tracey Lithgow’ was shortlisted for the inaugural Hedgehog Press 2019 Cupid’s Arrow Poetry Prize and appeared in the Cupid’s Arrow Love Poem Anthology.  

























He wanted to see the wood one last time.

So, they took him back to trees dripping and bare,  

wading through dead leaves, last season’s remains.

Take your time, retreating to leave him stood


in that opening, under a gaunt-white sky, 

where once, summer high, a green-leafed roof swayed.

Light, sparkling, found its way through to this same glade:

the thrown bike’s wheel flickering grasshopper song,


as he pushed aside ferns twice his height. Sensing

the sure-footed trail through deep, warm undergrowth.

Whatever day you came, something had changed,

grown or gone. This natural palimpsest.


Palimpsest. Lost in the midst, knowing your place;

immersed in the invisible. Waiting. Still.

To see what would not be seen – a sense that –

It’s no good. This time of year, they offered,


disappointed for him in what they saw.

Head back? Behind glass, dark trunked reflections

run off windows into a closing sky,

past high wind-whispering hedges to stark street lights.


Home. Cocooned. Words half-heard. Yet something remains.

Back there, isolated dark patches spread

like spilt ink. The waking night, the sleeping day.

Seasons will return; scattered lives restored.


Always the same, yet nothing as before.



Peter Burrows



Sweeping the Sands by Peter Burrows

Spring by Peter Burrows