He walks through the forest, through light and shade,
Collecting lichens, herbs for his cell, thinking
That behind each tree is a hidden trunk,
A darker shadow hung before the glade –
The hardest part of living as a monk,
The space between each nodding asphodel,
A long time to call things. Self-sinking,
Self-doubting he walks on, ignores the bell
That calls him to a simple contemplation.
He goes into the profounder silence
That the roots themselves inhabit in their search;
Dark-sensitive like them, a seventh sense
Develops in him, like an intuition.
He stops to hug the birch and then the beech.
Kenneth Hyam 25/05/07