Each wind in this country is named for

the distinct noise it makes in the trees.

Today through the People’s Park the Košava bursts

as I sit in the glass-walled café at the centre.

A man pushes a piled shopping-cart of crates

of soft drinks across the Narodna Bašta

and suddenly the wind upsets them all

in furious colour and fizz. The fountain tilts

everything that can wave waves

the air-drunk trees tip, the cyrillic

death-notices flap against the trunks.

To my eyes every thing has the appearance of

the thing that it is, and even this strong wind

fails to quite dislodge the image of tree that half-

buckles, its roots holding, as a few young

leaves stream away, such loss being the cost

of representation, accounted for

in the sense that the trees overproduce

leaves in anticipation of loss, and once the

crisis-point passes, they will stand

more lightly tree-like than before, but does

the streaking leaf remain a part of the tree

or is it only in me its image races

until I stalk it inside a poem:

the streaming never, the loose leaf,

metonym of eternity never

still enough to tell. And is that a bird

in the despite, against the rush, undistressedly

notating? It is unseen, unseeable

and the other leaves, the ones that remain,

turn their paler undersides, making the trees

appear to be rushing from the scene.

About us blow the names of things, I sit

feeling dislodged from the great tree of name

and falling, since there is nothing to do but fall.


-Giles Goodland

Giles Goodland was born in Taunton, was educated at the universities of Wales and California, took a D. Phil at Oxford, has published a several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001) Capital (Salt, 2006), Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012) and The Masses (Shearsman, 2018). He works in Oxford as a lexicographer, teaches evening classes on poetry for Oxford University’s department of continuing education, and lives in West London.