kin’d & kin’d

this side there is a

hollowed-open branch with a leaf-nest,

curve of the hollow chalked with lichen

and whorled into a nacreous gall. the ivy

strongs its dark green hearts, roots hug

grafting on to this low maple, cleaving as if

invited. the maple bark is split-cracked,

rotting from without - thorn-breasts

on the grey-green stalk, on the water-snaked

old stalks, and the ivy everywhere

Letters through the hedge

16 hedges at White House Farm, Great Glemham


this side

prick bottom sit

look out hide camouflage canopy

turn look

browned leaves cuddle over broken stick

tiny greens each holed with hunger-eater

brown big leaf with oval penny imprint

ivy holds court and holds fallen leaf

under the hedge edge

spider or throb-beetle on paper

dropped from above

ant climbs up and over spider-like

both stop


beetle rampages

spider calculates and swerves

takes its time

a petticoat over capes the bone branches

in the air underneath is hedge world

spore-cup luminant tree’s- love


burnish yolk letter


form-unform repletion


weather jewel encaser






beak-mouth thorn-leaves for kiss-dead pineapples






green spine dresses


unknown  private




Gifts of the hedge

             offered to each other

almost thumb-length  a system of coils

whorls  spirals  life contained

in juicy stems  an embryonic fern

water pushing through  holding itself

holding ready for holding

the great and continuous spring

also the large looped frond


a framed red berry in the hawthorn hedge

against the sound of rain


a tube of flesh-pink corrugated plastic

hosts a snail and a few dried grasses

its fibonacci shell unfurls quickly

the stretchmarks green-yellow on brown

sweeping across and down



and the markings of the tube

are waves and groves




the stem spans these two pages in length

strong   red-green   one leaf chewed and burnt

but at the stem-leaf joint a four-petal

creamy flower-cluster   fifteen buds

ready to burst   each concealing

those petals and four stamens   tipped

with a seed below   a healthy oval leaf

and two horned growings-in-waiting





this quiet grove of leaf-time

surrendered   cracked   drivelled   bollused

earth veins  seamed and stuck

seedpods dark as seawaves

beads on an old stick

pink   green   or dead

face out   the speaking      hear

the lost chirps


hedge mourning

dating the hedge II

dating the hedge I

there was a hedge hut hovering on stilts

facing the inline of the hedge, it could see

and touch the bush and scrub

blue or great tit twit-flying outwards, above

along, away, caw-drop of crow or raven

six sheep with one shadow black graze-munching

in the mist field   6 steps up  8 molehills

bootprints on the platform in front of the door


thank you



kin’d & kin’d


Kay Syrad

Clare Whistler



h/edge online created for The Alde Valley Spring Festival

April 25th - May 24th 2020




We are most grateful to Jason Gathorne-Hardy for providing the residency in November 2019
at White House Farm, Great Glenham in Suffolk that enabled us to write h/edge.



First published in 2020 by Elephant Press

Forge Lodge, Ashburnham

Battle, East Sussex TN33 9PH



Copyright remains with individual poets

All rights reserved


© 2020 Elephant Press

All rights reserved


Designed by Raphael Whittle

at once

your                      yellows

greenings               holding on

your shoot-red stems

the unknowns

already .        a bird

strong wings

     —quiet now

enter by the webwork

keeping in

and              out

hold        for a moment




dear petticoat-over-skirt-leaf

There is a wind rushing from the open-trees

but not in here; quieting -here

in the criss-cross wooding stem world;

no clear view, no start or end, only evolution,

up-down, across, not even a weaving -

only an equitable




seaswim of fallenness

scup brown   mustard brown

copper brown

swag inside

fall outside

and no clear view

in the quieting-here criss-cross

wooding-stem world

no start or end


spatter   rustle   underbough goldening

this upward reachery

away-reaching stem

carrying still-bright greens



greetleaf! from here

sea- swim of fallenness

ground mattressed in

gold, gray, redbrown, pink tip

super green, dull brown, brown

swag-spilling inside

outside muddle floor

stickthin broken tipped smooth limbed

thick nettle stem carries still bright greens

grow upward reaches

leaf dot rice spatter

rustle-move against pink sky

thousand streams flighter






hat-top capclusters  some gone




scaled-turtleface edge-out forms


heart-fern symmetries


tree’s lip


dropline bead




cream curvings  green sourced



choreograph    berry   berry  unberry


flickerdry hedge hair


pair-podding thistle-hue


blood cocoon


water-twist scatterveins


purple courtier diadem




fly-drop umbrella


pride-green leaf-facing



swallow-wing thorns spread

in a symmetrical open-winged beauty

other prickers gnarl their way out

like broken vertebrae   alone or kinked

it is a dried life   hollowed out stem

reaching to bell-poppets of empty balls spheres

criss-crushed into soft rust

all barrened   used

dried and light

by the swallow tipthorn

the leaves are trefoiling -

in trinities they leave the spine green

cover themselves in the marking of blood

some drop spots  some smears

stories of leaf cave memorials

it is like infiltration  wormerings of

mould        creature       weather

vegetal blood

thank you for the gift

a cluster of globes   whole worlds

springing open   a chorus of chirp mouths

bursting with breath   symphony

loud voices in globe choir

democratic and outwardly centre interval

all voices out sing shout

each mouth glimpsed into leads

to a dark centre through air shingle water

to dark earth   to darkness

where knowledge-myth cooks

the stem furry in white carries leafsprout

and graceful arcs

it’s the globesongs that reverberate

vegetal blood

flicker antennae vibrate to each word

pencil marking into almost fringe

upturned arms holding measurements

then shaking them air-free

thin thread bones hold moisty bit-leaves

long slender nails that have seen better times

shrivelled   mottled   rot-holed

mud painted   powder mildew dustings

colour leach-green to dull on one antennae

red muck gelatilizes as if slimed

the meat enclosed   blood-ready protection

danger-jelly   attacker or saviour


this one is hip-height   old reed torn

at the pink-woody root

splits two thirds of the way into leaf and stem

for fruit  two pod-heads growing

oblong from the stem’s knuckle

and a seed like an apple- or pear-pip

nestles in a swivelled leaf-blade


wet  bamboo strength  yet wetted to death

as for life


it had its occupants dislodged on travel

but remnants hover-cling

and one woodlouse trams around   no  two

finding new cavings to meld into

they become insider wood   peeled inside

skin fired   lumped   rock-rubbed

parts look like excavations

archaeologised from before time

the mudded outline of hooves

from myth creatures

another woodlouse climbs through the window

in a panic   shuffles again

the depths of exploration

retreat to living legs   hop-stretching

in multitudes   their tiny land   turnover world

one woodlouse cling-terrors

sudden stop

found out on multi-planted surface

green bushed hills and trollops

a signal flag calling help

each woodlouse life   in mid air



perhaps our changing is





sometimes stripped down


open to weather

moments of burst

green with growth

slow maturity

when we are this age

let go

let go   echo

shed      echo


shed  echo

lots in common

even our favourite

colour is mustard green

do I come here often?

maybe you are

more stick in the mud,

attached to your homeland?

yes, I can understand

picking up roots

and leaving

brings up all sorts of


how long does

one have to live

here for it to

be home-

I wonder if we

are always growing

if we stay in the same place




perhaps our changing is












I love you at once

your bursting-out yellows

the greenings that are holding on

I admire your shoot-red stems

and your unknowns

(I know you already have a bird

or two to love   I heard

their strong wings)

     and you said to me ‘quiet now

and you can enter by a webwork

of paths   for keeping in

and keeping out

I can hold you for a moment

but we are horizontal

we cannot love the verticals


hawthorn              hazel              hornbeam              holly



woodwart                             woundwart



wartwood                             wartwound







plash              pleach              plash              pleach



reaves              lynchets              reaves              lynchets



hawthorn              black thorn              field maple              spindle



haga              hecq              hege              heg              heg              hag              hedge


Elephant PRESS

A small press