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Trees with silver bark intact, male catkins, female cone scales, fruits, leaves, abundant stems, stumps, twigs and roots.
These birches were growing and sinking into their own soil
around the time of the building of Jericho, the first known copper smelting,
the domestication of cattle, the first use of irrigation, the first cotton cultivation, domestication of chickens, invention of the sail, the plough and the potter’s wheel,
before the Sun entered Taurus at the vernal equinox, before the first megalithic tombs,
before the domestication of the horse,
before the invention of bronze,
before the invention of wheeled vehicles,
before climate change began to turn the Sahara into desert, before the first writing,
before the first pyramids,
before Noah, Shem, Abraham and Moses,
before the volcanic destruction ofThera,
before the first alphabet,
and all that was written after…
Copyright 2021 Josephine Dickinson
First published in Haggs and High Places by Laura Harrington.
Josephine Dickinson is a poet and shepherd who lives in Alston, England. Her books include Silence Fell (2007).