The Old Soldier – Ali Jones

Brilliant use of nature to describe PDST

The Old Soldier

He has a hut in the woods, well-concealed;
bounded by ash and thorn, linteled in ivy,
where he hides a Falkirk kettle and finds
a tin tea caddy stashed safely with the horseshoe
trivet and well-worn pan. It is not so small,
a familiar path of bird song leads him on
to dress in blackbird colours and sing of rain
while he works by the stream. A young buck
at his side asks who owns the forest?

He has no reply, only beckons, come and see;
the bounty of trees heavy with apples, a crop of nuts
netted with the fingers, a spring dancing
to offer a cup of water, the abundance
of berries and birds to pick them.

Tame a man and lie him down,
make him peaceful in crowds and muddy trenches;
at home he is quiet as a fox and prefers
the rowan treeā€¦

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