Peter Larkin: Skies in Flight of Tree


Skies in Flight of Tree, 1-5



Sky in breadth but no range in store, moreover there are trees     narrow assistant

tallness, poplars wedge a sky’s suspense


As skies drum onto land they bounce off horizon     the shock is trees absorbing

(rescaling) the derision


find adjacent

filter: one telescopic

flown speck is

another haven



earliest ascension

was sky in trunk,

not yet peeling

the earth


from one spurt

(foliage) to another,

the hurt is sky

not yet in grain

for launch


Headless stalks are no better prickles before windowless sky      streak it along a

tree’s brushway for actual take-off


Rarely at any world-search, the sky flies through it     then dived to see how

wingless in leaf it was






All over brief earth the heavens are secondary soil     trees assist it with aileron, one

flap a no longer grounded rotor


Curtained round mute shell, a thin fusilage from disaster     wingless before the

heavens’ own dispelling fabric


tenting its

ground, the forest

frets itself

vertical, no sheer

skyplay then


let sky waters pre-

serve a forest’s

own tidal



oak moving like

a tuft of cloud


A lesser into flight     woodland perfections obtain the poor-floor of that soaring


Havens at corner-stops, struts for any sky-bearing flight     nurtured surfaces on

universal glide






Woodland mirage of terrestrial fluttering     only quiet roots become aligned with

their hollow gutters, strict matters of sky


Adversary skies not accusative but resort to nominal forest     innocent of material

they cloak a sum of horizon which lets leaf risk them over:    shelter by traversal



forest haven

grows ravenous

unless it taper

sky off a body


a warren of trees

least queasy

barrenness from

digesting sky


until the crowns

tilt (disenmesh)

what they rotate


Tree a living abject readily overflown     or a comet to a bush, hovers the gloom it



New clouds over fusiform hurdles, only a sky could leap this wooded recession

lift from the attrition but never become its own vehicle






Carbon bunches reseeding the sun across its sky semi-dust     haven flotsam

preinjected at tree level


Unhoused in air but as free forest afloat     skies of adjacency no longer trivial

dispensers overhead


not yet a tall

bend in forest,

does make us

twist (not test)

the heavens


unclotted sky

new woodland

rinses it


less abutment

above unless


in trees


The fleeting bearing of tree sessions (seasons) breeding (swooping) the sky:     let it

be in loft


Vertebrae by which the heavens flock back to themselves     not instructed but

trusted on distended root


A woodland will sow steep pasture (sky) along its after-root summits






A ridge bristling in spruce     needles massed against weightless flight in what

propagates (turbo-vents) positions of flight


Hovering like a no longer reeling beyond      betweenness mid-sky, granted its

horizontal graduals of ascent


air-worthy in

festoon, tree

mass dissolves

cloud morass


if predominance

of air then domes

of forest, commons

in steepage


launch (lunge)

its span, filter-

wards to



Where trees are hooded they parachute a sky gate-crashing earth     at which

uncrowned heavens billow out again


Horizon as carrier (encounter) will encircle only as forest pressed lobes to the sky




Peter Larkin contributed to The Ground Aslant: an Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (2011). He has published several poetry collections; among the more recent are City Trappings (Housing Heath or Wood) in 2016 and Introgression Latewood in late 2017.  A symposium on his work was held at Warwick U (UK) in 2018, the proceedings to appear in the Journal of British & Irish Innovative Poetry. A new collection, Trees Before Abstinent Ground was published in late 2019.






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