Damage                   

 

The sky is bruised-black and brooding. Puddles of orange light lend life to the shadowed figures that pass by. The sea licks a sober rhythm at my feet. Ragged thoughts are picked-up and tossed in the wind. A sharp prick on my sole – jagged glass; green beer bottle. On one leg, injured foot on my knee yoga-style, I examine the damage. Barely a mark.

Seabird skull gapes

Rain drips long and passionless;

Nothing to see here.

Homeless

The whinchats arrive from the south picking at the straw thatch

until I can watch day and night pass through the sky as I lie here.

 

In summer the long rain lashes its length against the windows.

It washes away the patched walls and the sun strikes hard and long from all directions.

 

Autumn is the hardest; frill-capped mushrooms and fat berries hatch at my feet,

and the animals that feed on them nibble at my flesh too.

 

The end comes fast with winter;

she gnaws at my bones, eats the last crumbs of my eyes.

 

I crack with the morning frost.

 

The Places Between Things

I want to hide in the places between things,

to squash myself softly into the folds of the forest,

feel its hard surety spoon around my body.

 

I want to lose myself

in nooks that nobody knows of –

places that only know of themselves.

 

I want to slip between the ripples of the river,

hug the shadow of a stone,

burrow beneath the armoured skin of a sycamore

and circle my arms around its ancient backbone.

 

I want to be among sure-things,

to be held firmly,

to fit precisely.

Shadows

The sun, shy-pink and hunkered low,

Eyes the pitted bone of the moon,

Leans its fading light

Long against my passing shadow

Projects myself

On the yellow grass, bare –

 

There in the meadow, laid bare

And plain to see. I huddle low,

Curl upon myself;

The circle of the moon

And the circle of my shadow

Expressions of light.

 

I spread, all arms and legs, body light

As a breath to the earth with her coat

Of land and sea and her bare

Layers of rock and rock beneath. My shadow,

Squashed flat and low

Scuds and slams against the stone of my Self.

 

Pressing down; pushing my shadow away from my Self

The last light

Of the sun blows out. I watch the moon

Define herself above me and I can’t bear

Her terrible gaze. And below

Writhes my shamed shadow.

 

My shadow

Swells, soaks my Self

In its liquid memories, drags me low

And pins me to the ground,

So I will never know what it is to feel light

Move through me; to be sweet and new and bare;

A maiden moon.

 

The moon

Stands in front of her own shadow

Bares

Witness to the grime of each of us;

And I know that the dirt I kicked up long ago is sewn to the core of myself,

That these earthly lows

Are the patchwork of my elusive Self.

 

Envoi

 

I delve deep and low; but I’m a Russian doll inside myself

Inside; bottomless as the sky that holds the moon and the shadows

Of the bare stars and the space that light can’t reach.

 

Seabird

Skull of a seabird,

eyes that held the globular world,

now raw and empty,

holding the sea between thin bones,

squatting on the sand among the seaweed,

beak pointing nowhere

the bird-ness lost

in the folds of the waves.