To read the latest issue, click 'Issues by year' in the menu above

  (With apologies to TH)

  I sit at the top of the tree, my blade stiff.
  Unfurled, no crooked glands
  Between my perfect petiole and pert teeth:
  In sunlight I rip out the heat’s heart.

  My susurration in these wild woods!
  The seasons turn at my will, and the air
  Whistles in pure obedience –
  I become russet, because it suits me.

  This branch is attached to me,
  Waits on my bidding, my absorption.
  There is no chicanery in my veins:
  My etiquette is all cellulose,

  The conversion of air.
  For the one way to trust a branch
  Is by praising the leaf’s instinct.
  No philosophy explains me:

  I am not going to drop off.
  The tree depends on me, surely.
  My stem only imagines a swivel.
  I shall never get trampled.

Brown leaf on tree