Willow leaf boats
(Ask Edith Swan-neck how - Sweyn Forkbeard doesn't know !)
Snap crackle pop of split willow drums up a day
of her old blown leaf ships down river, current dance or march,
echo of Maypole twirl or in slow procession: thousands
strong, their fire dragon prows lead long amber beams
as if this late summer sheen is receding ice.
Blond Danelaw gods, ancient Essex soap opera surfers
traverse to where the Ice Age last crawled stop.
And there, just above the glacier’s snout of grit,
they made their beds, Herts, a home of it.
Across those same rivers, this day would be woven baskets,
another homelander’s pure gold Saxon rods, Wessex,
last year’s cut. Like booklets these harvest baskets fill.
Like tribes to riversides, their telephone lines.
Hardback, mud ribbed, softback, back and forths.
September stock exchange is trade in story and spice.
Jug to flagonned mead bank, and how that mead pours.