This is the church where I used to be vicar- with the field in front of it where my children used to play. The poem is addressed to my daughter, but is really all about me, me, me.
It's another poem I'd want to put in quotation marks. It was true ten or fifteen years ago, but I no longer fully identify with the self who's voicing it. Even so, it remains one of my favourites.
That field you wrote the poem about,
It never meant that much to me.
Suburban gardens bordered it,
Their honeysuckle scented it;
Liminal space, dog walking space
And owned by-
What demons and desirables
You dreamed for it. It wasn't safe,
Not with the mounds of rubble and
The broken ground with holes in it,
But safe enough for parents who
Permitted you the run of it
Long evening hours.
Because of risk and needs a place
To prove itself, between the worlds,
Half real and half imaginary.
For me there was a wooded hill.
Our house sat at the foot of it.
I never ventured there alone.
Its trees were taller than seemed right
And in its shadow weirdness lived.
I and my girlfriend stripped and pissed
Into the mulch and beech mast there
When I was four.
The haunters of that nemeton
Have dodged around me. Happiness
Has been to do with shaking leaves
And footpaths snaking off through trees
And so has fear...
Your life as open to the sky
As mine is shaded by a wood?