|Dank, damp and dirty beneath the trees
brambles, their pale thin and yellow
tender young shoots unfurl, their soft barbs,
stiffening, to chlorophyll completeness
they sharpen, shred, coil and strangle
spread, tangled and tough, thrusting
through the undergrowth,
forceful vegetative and violent.
Shy ferns, fetus folded, origami unfurl
with Fibonacci perfection,
each frond flung out to fill the forest floor.
In green gloom of tree-born twilight,
fungi swell, bulbous, slick and slimy
amid the mild, moist moss, a soft mattress
woven like some massive plate of vermicelli,
spotted with the shells of small snails.
Suspended on skilful silk,
draped betwixt the stems of nettles and dock
a spider shivers amid the soaking shine of
countless glistening globes that bedeck her
consummate creation, jewelled eyes
reflecting the myriad beads about her.
Testing the tension, deadly centrepiece,
Prettier than any precious stone.
Writhing, hunting and hiding, in the rich mulch
of leaves and plant debris in various states of decay,
kilometripedal creatures, both centi and milli,
coiled, coy and colourful, they
mingle with a secretive menagerie of
woodlice, worms and a multitude of
midges, mites and small flies, all
living the low-life, beneath the trees.