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Masterclass in a Shed by Jonathan Humble

The shed was an apex, all-wood,
home-built construction,
erected that furnace of a summer
when we burnt in the shade
and our feet turned to leather,
a backdrop of screaming swifts
swooping like mad dot banshees
in the forget-me-not blue.

We stood back and admired
the woody quality of its sturdiness,
overlooked the imperfections,
forgot the blisters and swearing,
with seed drawers now labelled,
garden tools hanging in place
as we toasted our cleverness
and soaked in the homebrew.

Beginnings then followed:
new this, new that, till the shed
became part of the scenery
and the expert moved in,
ostensibly preoccupied en route,
unnoticed, overwintering in a crack,
casing the joint for suitability,
tasting the wood like a connoisseur.

Then as we prepared for the year,
quietly, purposefully, she graced our space,
moved in, gnawed, chewed, sculpted,
moistly applying the axioms of Euclid,
compound eye, to mandible, to shed,
constructing a near spherical beauty
while laying dynastic foundations
we felt privileged to observe.