Ailsa Holland

 
 
Two poems
 
 

English Fern

You
are coiled

like an easy spring,
like a wild green tongue.

Your roots are strong
and deeper than winter.

Has anything changed?
My eyes are still bluebells.

Here
is this mossy place.

 
 

Most Foul

Licking her lips, she drips
the pearls of poison in
and fills my ear.

We have played this before:
in a garden, on a ship,
in an ivy-painted hall.

This time I will not die.
I have studied the remedy.
She leaves the scene, I shut

my eyes and shudder, like a wasp,
feel the bane like a stain
through my blood. I splay my hands,

watch the venom fly out
from my fingertips; I hear it hiss
on the scorch-pocked boards.
 
 
 

Ailsa Holland is co-maker of the photo-poems blog ailsaandlisa and founder of Library in the Landscape.