Right now I’m Standing
Right now I’m standing beneath what used to be I imagine an impressive tree Split down its bole it has sprouted green leaves that will be rustling way into September At its base lying athwart the clearing is the severed part The colour of brown has weathered to near-grey and the footfall of walkers has covered the wood with a layer of dust & yet the part that has fallen among the spikenard and hungry shrubs surges out of death The raspberries feed on its breath and beetles thrive in the slurry middle where the bole rots Listen there is nothing as exhilarating as the feeling of life coming into you Though people look suspiciously stand and listen do not go anywhere we have been the workers just the workers In the Congo one man had a land almost eighty times the size of Belgium as his estate We have been property When I talk about reclaiming time I’m just thinking about my body standing in the middle of this woodland and doing nothing nothing
Jason Allen-Paisant. “Right now I’m Standing” from Thinking with Trees. Copyright © 2021 by Carcanet Press. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, carcanet.co.uk.