Brushes-for-fingers. A poem by John W. Sexton

In the subtle movements of their branches
the fir trees are treading air. They never drown
in it. Even when perfectly still, breath
penetrates their brushes-for-fingers.
I look out, sluggish in my arthritis,
filled with pity of their being rooted
to the spot, but admiring of their calm.
Last night a screaming wind violated
my bones merely by its sound, but shook the trees
in their place. Today their place is unstirred;
they tread balm or waves of storms equally.
My arthritis is picking up signals
from the clouds. Imperfectly, I tread the air.


John W. Sexton lives on the south-west coast of Kerry and is the author of seven poetry collections, the most recent being Visions at Templeglantine (Revival Press, 2020). A chapbook of surrealist poetry, Inverted Night, came out from SurVision Books in 2019. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

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