Second Wind

There are secrets, well kept,
about what may bloom in barren lands:
Buddleia always finds a place to root
in concrete, rubble, abandoned spaces
and the sculptor’s favourite chisel
is the one worn to the shape of his hand
through years of coaxing art from stone.

There are consolations in stiffening joints
slowing my walks on the limestone hills:
the way a violet nestles in a knuckle of root
or the questing eye-stalk of a Roman snail
snaps into focus. Years sprint by, spill
duties and obligations to lie by the wayside
leave days that stretch into space
for new passions or old obsessions.

There are secrets, better kept,
about what may slip past fences
as wild garlic grows where it will,
stretches past boundaries and barriers,
indifferent to the effect of its scent
on senses, or whether you admire
its pale blooms’ constellations.