Home

Nature’s Grenade

9 July 2005

Nature’s Grenade

Candida Clark

Before we drove back to London ­
It was evening, late June, Dorset ­
We walked through the valley
Where breath came rising from seas
Of tall grass and the bracken grew curling
In licks like flames ­ we had to fight through;
A soft fight; the flames were waves ­
To get to a far point, bang in the thick of it,
Where, by the stream, there was a place to stop.
The bracken stayed rising, birds were in the high trees.
The night before, there had been a night-jar,
And we’d sat on a log to listen.

We found the spot, and you bent to pick up something
That seemed to have been cast off. You put it in my palm
Before I could see it. I shut my eyes.
It was the precise shape of a hand-grenade,
The weight not far off, the texture almost true;
Cold, too, and sticky as though held too long
Through nerves, or indecision, before being chucked ­
At just the right moment to cause maximum creation:
Nature’s grenade; a cedar cone. They take three years to make.
The thing is on my desk right now.
It's my favourite gift from you ­
The sap oozing, the scent rising, the life waiting.

Today, wishing myself back beneath that tree,
I read how Solomon, building the temple,
Asked Hiram, King of Tyre,
For Cedars from the forests of Lebanon.
The wood transplanted, the motive went full circle -  ­
Religion running always after life.

Will COVID break up the UK?

Support for Scottish independence is at record levels. Support for a united Ireland is at record levels. Support for Welsh independence is at record levels.

The British state's management of the COVID crisis has widely been seen as disastrous. Will the pandemic accelerate the break-up of the United Kingdom?

Join us on Thursday 6 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET for a live discussion.

Hear from:

Anthony Barnett Founder of openDemocracy, he has often written about the need for a progressive England to emerge from the shadow of Britain.

Allison Morris Security correspondent and columnist with the Irish News, and an analyst of politics in Northern Ireland.

Harriet Protheroe-Soltani Trade union organiser for Wales and the south-west, vice chair of the campaign group Momentum, and has written about rising support for Welsh independence on the Left.

Chair: Adam Ramsay Editor at openDemocracy and frequent writer about Scottish independence, most recently in The Guardian.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData