Beneath the skin

Beneath the skin of the city

its vital organs function:

not the ones you think I mean,

the staff whose manual actions


keep human beings hearty –

supplying power and food,

sweeping roads and pavements clean,

arresting fire or flood –


no, not those, I speak 

of parks and lawns and leaves,

of blossom flossed on trees like frost

that licence us to breathe:


the bluebell heads that peek 

through ribs of ancient woods,

the twilight fox, the midnight moths,

the moss, the worms, the weeds.


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