Poetry: Oak Burr Communion

Published in Envoi, Autumn 2020


Oak Burr Communion


Fingers fold over your time-grained form. My joints ache with the light coming in. I scrape and worry at you, oak burr I found on the shore of Loch Etive. With dentist’s tools I dig at the boundaries of your skull-sized self. Scratch away long enough and I might get to the quick. I prick and pick at rotten wood, it crumbles black and earth-like, separates unhurriedly as a calving glacier. This journeying is undoing me, I trust to the scent of something familial beneath. 


You reveal yourself, sharp silver tip scratches dry-bright against solid wood. I dig and blow until I’m in the striated inside of you. There are claw marks here, and you are salty as tears. I understand how your preciousness is broken for me, and for all wild-hearted animals; ancestors of wolves and bears that stepped across basalt layers. Claws drawn out of all time, before addings on of ash and seas and ice.


Sweet battered burr, I’m ready to fold to all fours, to curl up in the gauged heart of you. See how your truth glimmers. See how you hold my broken weight.