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Mechanised thrumming,
raw saw wound and rounding mound
of resinous wood dust.

Ash had smashed, with the bang of a bough,
the adjacent fir
alerting immediate work.

To shirk rather than witness
the plight of trees of old which tease
such a dreary sense of unease.

Back through dragging decades
blighted laurel gloom
a remote cicada whine.

Forest memory engulfs.
Plunging down a wood chute
a gash in the bank.

Chasm splashed and coppered
with still falling leaves
that clattered softly, intermittently.

Tantalizingly above my head
mistletoe ball — a talisman
one slash would be all it took.

With an elder wand — an impromptu crook
I slashed— my balance shook
my footing missed, a clawed branch snapped.

I sprawled in the root peppered cinnamon earth
that crawled and sparked; chainmail leaves swooped
in the celtic inclement light.

A figure emerged through ancient beech,
stooped and shuffling and black
her portcullised jaw at first fell slack.

Then, tooth boned, she’d intoned
“Your reach must always exceed your grasp”
bold in the glowing ivy grove.

She growled and spat
and spun forth stars
and vanished in a crackle.

As quaint as sleet the atmosphere
the little girl with breath-held feet
crept back through decades.

Stiff-necked I viewed the fractured shades
of wrecked and rancid fir brooms
the leap and swoop of sheaves of leaves

All joy snuffed out
scarred bank a skull-like omen of despair
broken stars of nightmare.

©Ros Watson 2014
This poem, ‘Chainsaw,’ was written in response to a PENfro Shakespeare workshop on Macbeth, led by Brenda Squires and Peter George held at Rhosygilwen, in 2014. We explored the involvement of the three witches in the plot, and the theme of Destiny.

Ros Watson is an active member of the Penfro Poets. She is a retired Teacher who finds inspiration in the Pembrokeshire countryside for writing prose and poetry. She also enjoys painting the local scenery, and exploring the history of the area.