Richard Westcott

Return of the Green Man

His wound-up crozier straightens out
tightened springs unwind, releasing
frondy fingers first, tipped with soft new nails

followed by stalk of hand and wrist
then un-stretched arcs of bramble arms
thrown out to grasp and root.

Keratin hardens, new limbs grow
stronger from the making. He emerges
phloem fed, hydrated by xylem

strong-armed in lignin. Rib circled
he inspires, his inflating body
ready to break its bonds

swollen with fresh projections.
Leaves sprout from every crack
jostling. They are drawn forth

these unsuspected members
to find themselves
full of purpose and unruly.

Renewed man is almost ready
to take his leave once more,
once he has learned to walk

and take stock. Firmly rooted
multi-limbed he advances
when you’re not looking

implanting his staff afresh
he leaves the last one, leading
the way to his rightful place

through irrepressible growth.

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Return of the Green Man by Richard Westcott was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2019) judged by Oz Hardwick

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