Sunday, 19 June 2016

one of everything



One of everything: bird type, stone type, cloud type.
Weeds cannot read your polite refusals. A kindly
dry humour takes over herb robert. The view from indoors
 is like looking through a sieve of time. A few evenings back,
I discovered a new roof top, There was a rainbow so faint
it hardly mattered except to the birds who rushed through
hearing a gossip, seeing each other as x-ray patterns.
I have finished naming the lowly trees for next winter's paintings.
I am almost wistful. Tiny grapes are becoming more than millimetres.
Yellow flowers are now bronze seed-heads. So quickly, you say,
drifting into sleepwalk. Blake's angels had vague arms, I remind myself,
the poems they carried were lethargic yet turbulent. The poems swam across the Atlantic
and become America. I think about that place, the dust of Arizona
and how it liked me in a strange way, the only way things can.
This morning I washed the green from windows,
pinned a curtain across a shameful cloud.
Some days I think about digging but mostly I don't;
there's flint and lethargy, there's a root that runs from my garden
to your garden like a ruddy drain. Where are they now?
Why do some flowers become plastic? Why do the ugly ones flower the most?
I am tackling Sunday as an object, an artefact on loan
from some obscure museum. We all wear white. There is a hush in the neighbourhood.
It is not the done thing to mow the lawn before or after rain;
things are growing without problem. That is a problem
if you let it be. I haven't looked inside the shed in years, it's been years.
I think it's held together with brambles and webs
like a fussy pencil drawing: watermarked, sincere.
No one talks in handwriting, not these days. It's all a matter of illumination,
a slow process, like watching daisies trample themselves.
There's a glory in mostly small things.



Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The day after I took a photograph of the dead hare

The day after I took a photograph of the dead hare,
I looked the front way to see a grey thing bouncing along the path,
comically, like something my mind had scribbled in, a dubbed animation,
but I hurried to the door and looked out to see the tail-end of a rabbit
and striding barefoot, not minding rocks, I tore off my cardigan
and threw it randomly so that it almost covered the creature,
a shabby trap, but enough to gain a moment - for I was sure
this was not a wild animal but an escaped pet, the rabbit now slithering
away, or trying to crawl from beneath the new dark.
I was relieved when the couple with a fish net and a pair of gloves
came sauntering down the road, presumed they must be looking for a rabbit
and after I retrieved my cardigan I left them to it.

Yesterday I was startled by the blue of the hare's fur and how
long slips of grass had stuck, a long fresh strand, the hare curled
and with one leg bone visible like a stick of seaside rock.
The hare was at once beauty and wretch, a distant wild thing
just there by my feet, rain-sodden, eyes sunk, it didn't make it
back into a field to die but had this hapless end, struck,
tossed on a footpath. And I took the photograph.
Myself several centuries ago might have taken the whole animal,
wrapped it in leaves or rags, made something of it.
But I just put my shopping bags down
and in a moment had the image for as long as I wanted.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

rattled by magpies



Rattled by magpies, wild rose sheds pale pink. The magpies
are not so much hostile as charmed, their days monochrome
and green, and full of bickering as if for the urgency of noise,
they squabble over unseen heartbreaks, not a jewel or a rat,
their reputation for noise the only thing that matters in the moment -
like all great debaters they are polysyllabic though
their long rattles would have you think them all stutter.
When they shift their fight to better trees the quiet is filled
with the quavering of wood pigeon wings, the pigeons going
round and round the house as if wrapping it;
they too seem to be argumentative or frisky. One lone
magpie struts in the road, circling himself, not knowing why
he can't be bothered to argue. He stops as if seeing something
of interest, or listening for a way back in.