In Which Things Move

The wind moves in the future
with soft wings – it brushes the leaves
hanging in the air with the trees

The clouds change:
a gradient of grey to blue-black
– and we too, walking beneath.

Our mouths open to let breath leave
while the red of your nails scatters
on the walls

The words spoken move
through the past, and your smile
leaves your face to land on my head

Three days later
it’s still there, folding and unfolding
like a butterfly, warming in the sun

All the Sky’s a Stage and all the Clouds are Merely Players.

You walk down the unnoticeable incline into
the city. You look to the skies where the weather
systems rehearse a performance they will give you
next time. You see the bowl of the heavens reflect
the skull’s roundness – and all car sounds in its
persistence. You love this. It is, you think, the mark
of a walk’s greatness to array contingency
in its random archways you sigh. And walk on through
the headache as the white grey blues yellow

27/02/18

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 more 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.

Two Fragments

I –

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.

II –

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.

Return of the Red Kite

Carefully she offers control to the currents
As her eye glides up over furrows
Never overcorrecting, she appears
When she means to, clears the barren treetops
And fastens some fur between her beak and the ground.

Her predator’s presence in the city shows
She retains the perfection of the ages,
And rats, nested in stubborn woodland patches
Sing of her soundings to their children, of days
Of sudden pain when scraps and salvage end.

I was deprived of her, by haste.
Eggs, whose skin could crackle like woodfire
Instead sank in to themselves, and shrank
Til embryo sap stained the tree-forks.
Her keening night-cry declared the time.

And silence slowly took the skies while I was born
As the hill-wind might forget a part of itself.
No longer the slip and slither of air around wing
Only the crows desperate gasping and magpie chitter
I did not know that anything was missing.

Then, one day as we walked amongst the drizzle
Along a long drystone wall, I followed a hand
Which gestured up. How can it be,
That a few dark specks and their swoopings, complete the sky?
I felt this, and mum smiled to see me smile.

[The red kite is a bird of prey which was almost wiped out by the use of the pesticide DDT, and saved by some thoughtful people. Now it can be seen all over West Yorkshire again]

Walk to Bonaguil

Left cold house and broke hastily through
We pass for a day over poster perfect fields
And sun charges with us, freeing the air.
My friend snatches a deer from the woods grasp

And chatters lively for an hour about its litheness.
It fell to us to unlock this path’s puzzle
To spell hieroglyphs upon the land’s patterns
To leave nothing else but time behind us.

Like the moon frosting the evening brushes the darkness
A Castle falls out of the forest
Meets us as we crunch around a corner:
It carves its ancient signature into us.

This must have let us forget, as we left there in darkness
And stumbled up the stone-ridden hills, slowly
Eerie at the earth crop’s murmering whispers.
A little light that fed the surging darkness.

Then, chancing the elder hunting’s track,
We saw histories of the boar’s foraging
Burned stars into memory as we shivered
Hearing Orion’s shadow, under the frosted roads.

Respite

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.