Early on it was uncomfortable.
Patches of rough skin thickened on my back
and spread quickly like psoriasis.
I took a few heavy steps
as my clothes tattered into chains of ivy
round my legs. I was thirsty, thirsty.
The tips of my fingers forked and forked again,
shivered into leaf.
A hot singing in the soles of my feet,
then the splintering of roots
like new teeth. I welcomed the pain
because it meant they were through.
They knew their own purpose,
snaking into the earth
and dragging up water.
No more sense in movement,
in searching and striving
and all that truthless speech and touch.
Just simple encounters:
birds making casual use of my branches,
sheep coming to me for shelter.
Nothing to get done
but to suck in light,
translate it into green.
From Smoke No 51 (Winter 2003)