Blackdown song

In front of the gate whose tubes hummed in the wind
like owls hooing each other across a dark field, Isabel,
was the firepit’s tract of soot-soft & snow-white ashes.
It went deeper than you knew, after years of bonfires,
dusks when sightly wings of paper flared in a woosh
of sparks & ghosted into darkness like minor stars.
Beyond the singing gate lay the dark field which ate
the bodies of lambs & threw up the bleached fans
of pigeon wings: the grass grew red in those places.
I dug the pit with a shovel & scooped bucketloads
to feed my father’s garden which drew down silver
mouthfuls of ash & the tangled brown potato haulms.
All the while the gate hummed tunelessly in the wind:
Tunelessly, but with range: high & low, long & short,
disconnected, artless, dumb life struggling into song.
I struck so reckless, Isabel – hot, one-handed, peeved,
& clanged a rock that hung in earth as consciousness is
said to inhere in the self, or the self to hang in the body.
High, low, long, short: my arms went dead, a dazed bird
burst from my skull, the rock, humped, deaf to the blow.
A brilliant ringing in the blade secured itself to that axis.

Blackdown song

In front of the gate whose tubes hummed in the wind
like owls hooing each other across a dark field, Isabel,
was the firepit’s tract of soot-soft & snow-white ashes.
It went deeper than you knew, after years of bonfires,
dusks when sightly wings of paper flared in a woosh
of sparks & ghosted into darkness like minor stars.
Beyond the singing gate lay the dark field which ate
the bodies of lambs & threw up the bleached fans
of pigeon wings: the grass grew red in those places.
I dug the pit with a shovel & scooped bucketloads
to feed my father’s garden which drew down silver
mouthfuls of ash & the tangled brown potato haulms.
All the while the gate hummed tunelessly in the wind:
Tunelessly, but with range: high & low, long & short,
disconnected, artless, dumb life struggling into song.
I struck so reckless, Isabel – hot, one-handed, peeved,
& clanged a rock that hung in earth as consciousness is
said to inhere in the self, or the self to hang in the body.
High, low, long, short: my arms went dead, a dazed bird
burst from my skull, the rock, humped, deaf to the blow.
A brilliant ringing in the blade secured itself to that axis.