Posts tagged ‘south’

27/03/2013

The Southern Pole

 

The reptile river winds its banks

Through stories deep as nightjar’s eyes,

Where crickets sing the moon its hymns,

And life comes writhing from the soil.

 

Each leaf has grown a thousand tongues,

And darkness glows with hummingbirds.

The air is water, steam and cloud,

The snake skin stream is hot to touch.

 

The frogs have tales of human feet,

Which ventured here and left no trace.

They smoothed the wriggling earth a while,

Then turned to rock, then back they turned.

 

Beneath these countless births and change,

The scream, the cry, the song remains.

 

 

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27/03/2013

The Southern Way

 

We stand and watch the setting sun

Drag lines of brent geese to the marsh.

The hedges, fences, ditches, walls,

We’ll break them when the darkness falls.

 

Across the counties of the south,

We’ll rise as one to till the earth.

Communion held amongst the fields,

On common land, feed common mouths.

 

Across the span of time and space,

We reach to plant and cultivate.

With digging pamphlets, hoe and word,

We’ll turn the furrows in our land.

 

In battles for those Surrey hills,

We’ll fill the dark with freedom’s seeds.

 

 

27/03/2013

Beyond the Overland

 

They walked the ocean bed and leapt

The current springs and waves of kelp.

They drove their herds through bass and shad.

They camped beyond the lowering cliffs.

 

They wore the fronds of ocean tides,

The moon pulled threads of silken light.

The phosphorescent foam of waves,

Tied strings of pearls and amber beads.

 

Their songs would echo through  the streets,

Around the harbour walls and boats,

And those who heard were caught for life,

In nets or pots or harpoon wire.

 

Some say they came from further south,

From lands they sought but never found.

 

 

26/03/2013

The Long Man of Wilmington

 

The scratch of flint and skin of turf,

The chalk of lines wiped clean of birth,

Of suns, of inner lands and fire.

The bitter white of giant’s lives.

 

Emerging from the thinnest times,

The butterflies are etching tales.

Their ways beyond the track of man:

And man it was, and man they made.

 

They scraped the turf, they turned the turf,

They symbolised his wreck of turf,

A mastery of their eyes within:

Deluded sense of distant earth.

 

And there the yellowhammers sing,

And there the lark has taken wing.

 

 

26/03/2013

A Half-Forgotten Hymn

 

Beyond our acid moors and smoke,

Where crags and limestone tooth the sky,

An empty hearted oak grew old

In downland forest, inward grown.

 

We stalk our moors and cough and choke,

Parade our bitterness and pride.

Puffed up with scars and open sores,

We gather all our people round.

 

We hear the oak may topple soon,

Its rotten roots are losing grip.

Its age once countless now counts down.

It stands alone, it stands forlorn.

 

Together we begin to sing

Our tuneless, half-forgotten hymn.

 

 

24/03/2013

Questions on a Homeless Night

 

I wonder

 

Have you ever been alone?

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea,

A past and future lost for words,

A pallid memory of the sun.

 

To feel the swell of night’s updraft,

The pull of moon towards the tide,

The drag of skeletons in chalk,

The thought you never had the time.

 

And have you ever found the strength

In silence, stars and drifting gulls?

And knowing there is only you:

Just you, a cliff, an empty sea.

 

The silver waves and shingle roar:

I wonder, has your life meant more?

 

(Brighton, 1989)