Twenty years now since under this elder
We first embraced. Do you remember
Her bright arms flying, the fleeting, flashing
Light, and the clouds scudding? How wild
And uproariousness was our happiness!
Twenty years now since under this lintel
We passed, and the house stood around us.
Do you remember the child in the elder
And her golden hair? The doves
In the leaves and the berries’ blood?
How we raised the tent of our love under the eaves!
Twenty years and each night, my companion,
You watch the moon move through the branches.
It silvers your hair. O my heart’s beam and protector,
Beneath the elder vaulting our heaven:
May she hold us forever far from the stars’ cold lattices.
© Hilary Davies,
Exile and the Kingdom, Enitharmon Press, 2016
Under the Elderberry Tree
I cannot imagine
Life without poetry
Making a birdsong.
Better to be dead
Than alive among cherry blossom
That does not move us.
I am not with you long.
As I turn into cherry blossom.
Before I go
I want to say
Why I loved life.
It was because
Without a doubt
It was possible to love.
Gone from the world, I go
A cipher, a sign
© Sebastian Barker,
The Land of Gold, Enitharmon Press, 2014
Poems read by Hilary at the Tottenham Trees Poetry evening, March 2017