In the Bush
It lurks just there in that bush
the one fifty years in the past
in that eonic time-travelling hush.
There’s a rustle. Perhaps it’s a bear?
A nocerinous, for sure, Father said
or perhaps a hipporinoscercow.
I was sure it was all in his head
but I spot them with my grandkids now.
It’s always been a joke between us all.
‘Did you hear the thunderstorm last night?’
I sleep like great big oaks,
fixtures in the landscape.
with young ones in my care.
I marvel that
a storm has yet to rouse me from my sleep,
but one small mew, a tiny snuffle out of place,
and I’m wide awake and by the child’s side.
A gift, I think.
The best of gifts, as well.
The type of gift that just goes on forever.
For in the dark, with baby in my arms
our skins connecting as he drinks his milk
that golden buzz, the love that bathes us both,
feeds our lucky lives, nourishes our hearts.
Charlie Markwick is a Gloucester-based professional storyteller and poet.
He is poet-in-residence at Gloucester Library. Charlie conducted the street-based interviews on Soundbites Week during the search for Gloucestershire’s Poet Laureate in 2019. His book ‘Orienteering’ is a collection of poems that appear in his current show of the same name. His poetry has been published in the Gloucestershire Poetry Society annual anthology ‘Magic’ (2019) and in ‘Today I feel Hawaii’ – an anthology edited by Brenda Read-Brown. His poems about dementia have been included in a number of newsletters and training resources.