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To the Birch Wood by Glenn Hubbard

Glenn Hubbard lives in Madrid and has been writing poems since 2012. Fluent in Spanish, he is poetic only in English. He has had poems published in The Bow-Bow Shop, The Interpreter's House, Snakeskin, Bindweed, Allegro Poetry, The High Window, The Cannon's Mouth, Message in a Bottle, and Algebra of Owls.

Ferns are golden but shrunken.

It’s the severe lack of rain,

the two mushroomers complain.

A woven basket where they

have just one lactarius

deliciosus and one

boletus edulis. (He

tells us he likes them best with

an egg). The skies promise no

relief today. Ugh! Lets us

smell. It’s heavenly. Just like

yellow chanterelles. Mmm! Nice

as well! Now we look. But no.

A greyhound with a blue coat.

Nervous but it’s not our fault.

We welcome any approach.

Vegan cheese on wholemeal bread.

Distant black cattle in full

sun on dry grass as we haul

ourselves up the hill, our goal

an abedular. A birch

wood. Made much of. Worth the search.

Still we climb. Is it far? The

small children inside us ask.

Descent to the stream! Musty

scent of mulchy. Heaven sent!

We won’t tell a soul that we

now get lost. At the moment

of greatest expectation!

To be pipped at the post! But

accidents will (shit!) happen.

At the stream (again), birches

are on fire amongst the pines.

A small pool is an empire

of fallen leaves, glossy herbs.

A gorgeous infinity

of countless tonalities.

The stream dances down the hill

beneath a canopy of

a yellow which we cannot

name. No word would be enough.

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