Eth

Eth was a dreamweaver, one who could leave her body and step across the stars, in Louise Lawrence’s 1998 young adult novel, Dreamweaver. I read it when sometime between the ages of 8-10, and Eth has stuck with me ever since.

Red girl – and I mean girl, for I
was young and could only begin
to imagine you – red dream girl
projecting yourself into me
from the page, but also across
galaxies, to warn me not to come –
You were held in supple halos
of redness. Your smooth hair was long
and now I see it in the hair

of my friend, who is a bullet of
a woman. I see your hair light
until all the hair I now know
or once knew began in this thought.
I remember you so vaguely –
you are the first friend who I lost
and the first one to draw from me
the structures of love. I was young
and now I am young again. Old

is the way you recur to me.
I half expect god to return
in your form. I sat with the books
on the blue grey carpet, felt it
drain the blood from my palm leaving
the impression of weave, and you.
Did my teacher remark at this
sudden silence brought on? Sighing,
I remember you. Please come back

V.1

Four woodpigeons pace the garden
of my adolescent dreamscape –
when tree houses hung suspended
above dark woods. And faceless things

were different back then they belong
among us, deep in my headspace
one pigeon is puffing itself
greater than the others, it thinks

one would suppose, and then settles
the argument. Flown to the woods
I hear the uniquely quiet
sound of paintbrush on old jam jar

where Beatrix Potter’s stand in
with warm and wiry red hair sits
on the fence and marks pigments out
of this world, and makes paintings

hang in my childhood, in halls with
abandon. a picture of me
and Van Gogh. I am young and
wiry. I paint now because these

are the deep horsehairs that gallop
out when I sit on the beach rock.
I will build my mind the gates of
time will not prevail against me

Crab-line Lesson

Drawing up crabs out
of vast black swimming
depths – I killed limpets

with a borrowed knife
I stuck the hook through
and my conscience

twitched with the piercing –
unknown primal guts
dripped onto fingers

I dropped the line quick
and after minutes
of my stunned-keen gaze

I brought them up – they
faded from the rift,
scrabbled bright plastic

murk green crabs, my brothers –
The adults taught me
how quick to catch them

I deep-stared at them
with them, swam the pool
a fear taken hold.

I threw them back in