One shrivelled apple clings to a scabby branch.
Nettles all but cover a perished hose coiled round the trunk.
Moor and orchard have merged to smother metal so rusted
That sword and harrow will soon be indistinguishable.
A young man swings, flamboyantly, from a rickety pergola.
A cramped girl watches a wolf spider sidle
Into the crack across a fractured stone trough.
For a moment,
In this place of lost paths and rotten fences,
All is still.
Then buzz and fluttering resumes as creatures fossick and flirt.
Vainly the youth flaunts his thews to titillate the girl
He sees as an extension of himself:
Whereas she, shunning his shadow,
Feels the chill of the haunted,
Weighs her choices,
Is daunted by possibilities.
Nearby a gate swings to
In the first hot breaths of a storm rolling slowly
Towards a garden devoid of shelter.
Nigel Ferrier Collins is a writer and visual artist. His poems have appeared in various magazines including Poetry Review and Dream Catcher. He has been a detached youthworker, actor, business consultant, Principal Education Adviser, and manager of a group of British international schools.