The Cuckoo

Through the dark trees flew the cuckoo.
Velvet and silken green –
Green and welcoming as a young woman’s skin
Warm and living,
And in flew the cuckoo.
Through branches tipped by soft green –

It was the nest calling him from his flight,
It was a new nest, a warm nest,
Smooth and curven round.
It was an egged nest,
Yet for him a virgin still.
A neat nest, a nest he hadn’t known.

Through the dark trees flew the cuckoo.
His wings touched
Young green places on the tree,
And the tree thrilled at the stranger
And offered its nest.

The cuckoo flew round the tree
Wondered at its enchantment.
Excited at the pregnant nest,
Savouring the feeling
It might have around him,
And delighted at the fresh green flames
That enveloped him
Flying and laughing.

Come in – whispered the tree.
And the cuckoo flew
Through the dark branches
And the tree
Sweetened him with her perfume
Pushing him trembling, laughing,
Into her warm nest.

The green
Was quietly reflected in his eyes.
The dark branches were still.
Wild bird who flew
Laughing over the woodlands
And cold streams – spoke the tree,
Whispering and breathless;
Spend in me the moonlight
And the perfumed winds.
Leave me the memory of this moment.

And the cuckoo laid an egg,
Weeping at its loss.
Through the dark branches
And green living places
Flew the cuckoo,
Leaving the tree fearing
Yet excited at its sin.

Over the heads of the trees
The cuckoo laughed
As the wind claimed it.
And none knew but he –
And the green velvet heart
Of the tree.

And the green velvet heart
Of the tree,
Loved above all else,
The precious tremble laid egg
Of the cuckoo.

Tony Crisp

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved