Brambles cut with snow
are the earth’s bronze crown
of thorns in the sun
This sun – glancing the snow
I walk under – and my ears
tilt to the birdsong now
This spring beginning with snow
A fox-path diverts from mine
to the deeper humanless parts
And cars through the sleet
as my ears grow colder
the houses are there, dusted
With drybrush grey – white crusts
plucked from a model of
the apocalypse – each is empty
Others walk by to arrive somewhere
as I stand and look
at the fallen tree, sliced with a gap
The precise size of the path
snow-dust sits on the fragments.
A half frozen lake waits
for me, and duck ripples
there is no escape, but this
Is an escape, the frozen sheet
the tree’s twisting bark
the wood-pigeon’s cold thrum
May this be preserved
this tas of remnants
this preciseness of life
Which clings to us like a scar
‘Do not go in the water’
it would be piercing quiet
Then dull, but I do not need telling
twice – to not miss
by brash action – a moment.
Long moments walk.
Behind the patient moon,
a meteor – as I walk home
watch my head coalesce
into the white materia – holy.
The rain sets a gradient on greens
Old lithograph fade, with yellows
Flickering, charring them, peeling
As if cloud, slate dark depressed
Is absent mindedly flicking through filters.
But there is a joy to this substance
A chunky soup for the steaming
For the hungry, who evaporate within
Its vacuum of feeling.
Only at twilight, such a light.
After, the streetlamps pale as soggy
Worm corpses, settle on the streets.
I miss the phosphor orange glow
Of the days when I was younger.
Today, I miss it. Maybe not tomorrow.
Pylons grew out of the flesh of the land
Iron bones of blood-rust thrust through
scaffolds to hold up the cloudsky – how
The rocks were insufficient now
Heaven has grown heavier and heavier,
only metal and electrics can halt it
since it dropped off hurtling downward
toward the cold earth’s blank plates.
Terror swims inside me like a basking shark
It’s my sullen wake, it fills the air behind
As I’m drawn along suburban stone.
I see the wild forgotten as a dream is forgotten
I know I dreamed, but what was it?
I stand on a hill and see the city
Draining down its valley plughole
Soft scars left in the grading air.
I see this city move as a scrapheap moves
Slowly downwards, churning the earth.
Waiting for a bus I wait too long
And my figure, mistaken for a statue
By some routine artist in a tatty book
Is selected for the top of the heap
Which moves, and the wild falls further.
In a shifting forest, in the past beyond thought
A foraging girl picks out an acorn
From a dry skin of leaves, her breath
Marks the air. She leaves it
And the earth hurtles out from beneath.
Unnanounced in the cities spring up
Unattended eddies in the flow
Hiding quiet and held in check
By walkers whose solitary paths
Attain the force of stone.
And from time to time, erupt
In a long awaited silence
In some valley, some alley in the back
Where aerial trees cling drinking
The living city rain, and biding
A silence which, like a sigh
after a long day’s work and walk
after the bags are down, tea’s brewing
and you raise your hand to your eyes and rub
and the air empties itself of talk
So calm descends in the sun’s heat
And the cars, though everywhere
Are no longer here, just for a moment.
And you breathe freely, unassailed
By unnoticed constant tack and tear;
The cold stress of a city.