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AWAKE @ Roots - Poetry by Andrea Dow

Poem 1: The Dark Wood

Poem 2: God's Fire

Poem 3: The Hunting Forest

Poem 4: Forest School

Poem 5: The Drowned Wood

Poem 6: The Invisible Wood

Poem 7: Your Wood

Poem 8: Panic

Poem 9: Forest of Last Stories

Poem 10: Ash

Poem 11: Tails, You Lose

Poem 12: Green

Poem 13: Quick

Set against the backdrop of uncertainty and climatic instability, “Understories” enacts a descent into the underworld – inevitably a place of darkness and fear yet also of connectivity, revelation and regeneration threaded through by the light that is the enduring beauty of the natural world.
Forests are political zones as well as ‘natural’ places and the Forest of the poems is both a real locale filled with specific flora and fauna and the site of human history, legend and myth – a place of tangled roots and endlessly branching paths where dream and reality intersect.
In the poems I have tried to reflect as many different facets of the Forest as possible, but taken as a whole, the work is an attempt to both celebrate and mourn the possible passing of the natural world as we know it. Though much attention is given to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest few people are aware that this small island boasts its own fragment of fragile Atlantic Rainforest. And whilst we rightly decry vast scale deforestation, we must also remain alert to the less visible loss of single species – a tree here, a butterfly or wildflower there – that are slipping from our lives largely unnoticed.
Finally, it is the fear of this quiet erasure that informs this work. That and the belief that it is diversity, community and careful attention to the often marginalised and overlooked that will (if anything will) guide us through
whatever is to come.