Hanging Tree


Where two roads cross the Hanging Tree,
Wild wind and lightning blast
Have bent and burnt in branch and bark
This shadow from the past:

Where two roads cross the ravens fly,
Hard hooves fall in the mist;
The sweet smell of gorse, the mutton's eye,
The rope stretched in the fist.


I hear the voices clamour by,
I feel the slip-knot bite -
And still the blood is in the eye
And still the circling kite.

Long standing on a cloud of air
Till sinews tear and white bones bake,
Long waiting for the trumpet's blare
When saint and sinner wake.

Where two roads cross I cast a glance,
No more, but head along
And hear the silence of the day
In every trodden stone.

© Ivor & Kevan Bundell 2006