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Dominic Fisher Poetry

As if a tree could stutter briefly into being
 lose all its leaves then vaporise”

Bonfire Night from a Loft Window 

In the Trapezoidal Forest

The Horfield ranges of north Bristol are hard rock bearing heavy metal, and yet they support a surprising and trapeziodal forest. The approach is steep, as you can see from the aerial view above. You go up the A38 from the centre of town and turn east near the highest point, or go directly north straight out the front door. Admittedly the view above is a little confusing as north is to the left and the top of the picture is east. However, the terrain is as challenging as it looks, though that said the postie sometimes clears it in one gigantic stride. Nevertheless it creates a natural and rugged frontier or border between numbers 16 and 18. 

Music for the journey, if not a wet south-westerly tearing through the bare trees and whoo-ing round terraced street corners, might be this, which is Sunn O))). They suit a miniature forest of enormous mosses, and here they’re in surprisingly lyrical mode. So, from the A38 (or the front door) we have to trek up a narrow ravine with occasional trees that runs roughly west to east. Once under the cover of trees we’ll see a natural path or clearing running north-west to south-east. How far we go, whether we make it as far as number 18, and what we find among the trees is up to us. But I’m expecting large cats, martens, jays, badgers’ sets, and the husks of insects the size of abandoned boats.

We are, after all, voyagers of one kind or another, and daunting though the Trapezoidal Forest is, and confusing in it’s scale, it does offer some escape from the mounting crises of the present: the twisting of truths, the divisions, war on our continent, and the coming cold. Perhaps we know no more of the scale of things, and are probably less environmentally in tune, than a saintly Celt on a rock in the Atlantic. The forest is at least out of the wind.

A saint sets out for a star


When the world is not round
the sky is sea, the sea is sky.

When your habitation is an island
no bigger than a sandal or a hand

it hardly makes a difference
if it’s a whale after all.

And when the wind can drown you
water light and air become one tide. 

You could still be out there
riding on the pulse and hiss

spinning through the crash and dazzle
in a hide and willow basket.

You’ll be needing strong arms though
to reach the evening star.

(From A Customised Selection of Fireworks
 Shoestring Press, 2022)