Monday, 12 December 2011

First frost, late

First frost, late

The winter when it
comes brings frozen flames
and glow borrowed from the needle
strewn floor

The sloes have gone
bruised, lost,
chalky skin darkening at a rubbing thumb
and before them the blackberries
and the hairy hips and the hawthorn

It will be months now
before I can find things in hedges

The other day there were mushrooms
but they weren’t quite right

Nothing happens

Trees still have
their leaves and the air
its fug

But the frost crunches in the morning
and the sky is huge and slate grey
or else bright
bright blue

at night there are
some stars

Thursday, 1 December 2011

What is nice / To the distant shore

What is nice

I took the wood off the compost heap.
It was too big so I cut it up with the good saw.

It was wet,
some bits frozen a few
rings in

So I split some of the smaller bits and
laid them on the hot coals, glowing orange
and translucent

so that they would burn and
the bigger logs could dry on top.

With the waiting logs I made a pile,
watched them whistle and spit, snap

like home,
where my hair and my
skin smell of smoke.

He had drunk too much to walk straight.

It doesn’t matter
all his life he has walked me straight.

The axe sparked where it hit the stone ground.
What is nice is when you don’t have to understand. 

Winter 2010

To the distant shore

To the distant shore there was a light flooding it came on ships with bright green sails
I saw you up in the mountains where the wild pigs snuffle and
ruck up the dawn’s damp mud
and the streams swell with rain water
I had been in those places before
they swum up like slow grey fish from the back of my brain, rippling the surface so gently I
could barely tell, but could see the colour ring out like a drunk radio wave
It flickered my eyelid
To see the clouds shadows on the scrub mountains
To see the shafts that break through them, and mirror the emeralds in the grass.
The smoke from those houses dwindled upwards from the bottom of the valley to the top,
fingers raised to the sky, which raised back, shrugged off by the mountains like a scarf, so
that there was a gap between them, which gave the mountains a dark glow,
thudding like a headache on the skyline.

I was in the oven of the earth, trembling as a plague for lack of sleep

I can see the lines they are sediment on a hill's side
They are the hillside, millions of years
"this one is the dream of the rocks” 
Teach me the times I have missed 
staggering through blank faces and screwed tight nighttimes, desperate with silence

One day I will make you a thing it will bring tears to the eyes of the world and swell like a tumour in the brain of time.

It was an old country, the roads wouldn’t take you anywhere
no matter how many times you tried
they just led round in smaller and wider loops.