Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Truffle hunting / He wrote his name / I remember when the lake froze / The Black Bear

Truffle hunting

they had tied bells to the dogs' necks
they ran like a grotto over the slope, flicked in and out of the tall pines
that are misted in the morning
sometimes you could swear the mountain was a cloud and that the cloud could be breathed away
but no. the hounds chased through the trunks
determined against the cold, although spindly.

I could not see the man.

in that place the boars dig with their noses and the people are lost
and you are.  

Winter 2008/9

He wrote his name

In the dust, he wrote his name
but water could not hold it
so he took the bark from an old oak tree
that was cracked and carved
as rocks by magma
or an old man's tongue
and slept the night in the dust
where names were finger traced
in the safe place, where only
the cuckoo spit that fell on his face 
in the morning could bother him

I remember when the lake froze

I remember when the lake froze
and we rushed
to skid around on the
we jumped and jumped on it
to make it
but it never did
that lake must have been
frozen deep deep down
probably for miles
and miles
I remember the bits
of things stuck
in the ice
leaves, twigs
half in
half out

The Black Bear

The idea of the Bear unnerves me
silent and huge, ash and fur and
red eyeball looking.

Upright, like a man standing
paws leather and ready, hung
shadows on padding gloom
over the floorboards.

Hollow bone, echoing
like a horses gurn
waiting at the top of the stairs.
It is wrapped in the sheets and breathing
waiting unmoving and unbending is the Black Bear

Not like the stars
not flicking between the trees, not hiding

not concealed
a speckle on an oak leaf.

It is in the clearing
unheard, felt like a lift in your stomach, a stone
on the nape of your neck
waiting in the kitchen with the peelers and the forks.

Behind you, on all fours
slit shaped nostrils
looking up.

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