The Nones

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Contributor: Dominic James

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In winter the tree is a small thing, a pulled root,
with earth kicked off on the heel of the boot
but in the summer, vastly garnered in green,
'I think that I will never see, a poem lovely'
& etc.

it chimes strangely then Yggdrasil, the giant Ash,
tree of life, in the roots of words comes back
a gallows, above the shield shine of Valhalla’s roof
a goat, chomping down its shoots, those compound leaves,
to make strong milk.

The barrow’s tree long signified the rise of man:
flowering in Spring, his generations in the Fall,
un-bound this tree - as the race - grows tall, its branches
reach into the eye’s deep well, blot out the sun,
where birds nest

and Ratatock, a chattering squirrel, runs the trunk
from eagle to worm: most like the rat in the brain
that defeats us all. Three weird sisters tend the great tree.
Witches at the well of fate dredge up white mud to salve
a wilted stalk.

Give me, three girls at a drain, drinking cider,
talking cock.

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Dominic James lives in Hungerford, on the M4 corridor. A new interest in Old English verse is dragging him hollering and whooping back into the Dark Ages. He takes the open mic from Guildford to Covent Garden.


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