In the years following the death of my friend and colleague Les Arnold in 1992 I wrote a poem in 31 parts which is based in part upon the Cotswold landscape looking towards the chalk of Salisbury Plain and that centres upon Arnolds Wood - a small area of woodland that I and his family and colleagues planted in his memory.

Section from Arnolds Wood

Section from Arnolds Wood

As we walked here
on the castle mound,
you told me you felt
you were walking
into a black tunnel.

now the strange, delicate
pink and white cyclamen
is out by the ivied stump
where I walk between classes
to rest my mind.

It is a quiet time
when light shining on the walls
seems to fall through centuries
picking out one question:

From Cut of the Light: Poems 1965-2005, (Enitharmon Press, 2006), copyright ? Jeremy Hooker 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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