The overgrown path by John Davies



John Davies’ New & Selected Poems was recently published by Kingston University Press in the UK and by Red Hen Press in the USA. His work is included in Poemish and Other Languages, an anthology of eco-poetry published by Elephant Press in 2019. Born in Birmingham, John now lives in Brighton. 






















I meet these characters in

clearings edged with mist,

on paths through bracken,

their heads swathed in rags

like soldiers from the front.

Scarce words are said.

Beyond the swish of wind

I often hear a cry and stop

to ponder.


When safe inside our cabin

in the woods, blessed by pets

and your presence, the figure

in the bed, surrounded by our

children, sheets still warm,

pale butter on the table,

the smell of coffee and

baking on the air,

you wonder


why I seem so ill at ease

and though I laugh, so

rarely celebrate. I guess

a part of me can’t believe

it’s true or isn’t here, or

can’t forget the sizzle of

raindrops on leaves, the

tramp of feet through trees.


John Davies


First published in the pamphlet The Nutter in the Shrubbery, published by Pighog Press, 2007.