Today, I met a wilding tree
that hid in green until her apples shone
and shone for me and called me there
called me onwards to the sea, a wilding me
walked on, in drifts of hemp agrimony
and wild carrot flowers unfurled in ordinary beauty.
Crow feathers marked the way,
enchanter's nightshade lined my path,
And cuckoo pint in shadowed green
made poison berry-bright the boundary
between me and the wild.
My wild, that answers to the prayer
of nettles for a kiss of skin
of blackberries for a tongue
the salt sea for a wound to sting
and start the healing song.
And I walk on, autumn-lipped with elderberry
dusty-bloomed with sloe, and willowherb
who draws her bow to set her seed-kin free
And then the sea, spun silver by the summer grey,
washes the memory of green away
with seagull-feathered spray
that salt-sings and wings the day to wild.
I rise, answer to the ebb and flow,
and on I go, returning to the green
where woodpecker feathers bless the way for me
and ivyed wrens cleave the wood with song,
and I go on, lifted by a surging tide
find haglets, rose hips, hazelnuts
that rain from squirrel-high.
This day of green and salt
has called me home
the sandstone hill, the silver spring below
the memory of badgers,
bone-blessings from the crows
My love is here, the kettle on
outside, the wilder me is spun
the wilding tree shines on.
(Jacqueline Woodward-Smith, 11th August 2016)