1769: Coppicing

See – a cut stump is a record
of age [in concentric rings] &
a blade has altered readings

My limbs ache – by disease’s
ill-conduct [new desire to lop
off my legs crawls into me] –

in better times I’m fine – not a
raspberry ripple ready for PIP
or to give up/ My daily mood

dithers from life-is-good to a
fuck-off-you – excuse my foul
language a malady sours me

when pain is engaged by my
body to remind me to delay –
Do not listen to that bastard!

& other encouragements – a
word to our well readers – no
illness is reversed by prayers

& I count its rings but am led
astray by a chainsaw’s scars
& resign to guessing games –

of age & time & late histories
written of in coppiced woods
[where I set my walking stick]



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