By Christian Ward


The TV reporter said it needed
to be left alone to thrive. 
Not smothered by unwanted heat. 
The slow beast could outlive us all
given enough space. Tourists 
walk through its caved out husk. 
Instagram carrot-like icicles. Wed
in a makeshift chapel that shifts
every year. It will be reduced to a puddle 
given enough time. Birdsong 
will carry their sadness. Like the glacier, 
I thrive when alone. Look how I melt
quicker when even your shadow 
blends into mine. 

Camberwell beauty butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa)

Flirts with winter. A length
of plush velvet, pansy-purple.
Frilled with a doily. It suns
itself while we heave like oxen
through the cold pressing
hard against lung walls.
We should twin ourselves
to the hot water bottle.
and tea steeping like the sky.
Sun ourselves. Wake
to warmth and the plush
velvet of an early night bringing
a lace of stars.

European stag beetle (Lucanus cervus)

They speak the language of the duel
with every movement, skewering
the early light with bottle opener mandibles.

Born to challenge, they prise open
the woodland's wet scalp with no resistance
to acquire rotting hulks of logs and diplodocus-legged
tree stumps. Wings of ferns latch themselves
onto the wind for quick getaways.

Our tuna can bodies would be no match
if provoked. Look how our legs twitch
like unsettled horses when walking through
their territory, how every hair curls in retreat.

Christian Ward is a UK based writer who can be currently found in Wild GreensCold Moon JournalDiscretionary Love and Chantarelle’s Notebook. Future poems will be appearing in SpryBlueHouse JournalUppagus and Dreich

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