New poems – Starlings and One false move
25 July 2018
Two new poems I’ve been working on, finished now that school’s out…
With the grace of an inept burglar, the grumpy baying of a
neighbour’s SUV intrudes through the inched-open windows,
a beast champing at the bit, desperate for dirt and strain.
As a sigh of nonchalant air finally justifies the savannah of sheets,
let slide the irony of the crisp five fifty-something wakefulness;
the arrival of a holiday is the bouquet of a butterfly-strewn buddleia,
or the first wave of snow parachuting through an awestruck lull.
As the coffee pot grumbles and chins like a tolerated elderly relative,
the lawn is littered with juvenile starlings bobbing a
clumsy mock-up of a murmuration in search of insects.
And in contrast, a flush of school uniform hangs limp on the line,
fattening up on warmth before hibernating through a lean August.
One false move
During the storybook end-of-term weeks,
the sky was the underbelly of a colossal pewter dragon,
hay bales were forts,
and poppies bled into barley like macabre Monets.
We stepped into the rhapsody of woodland,
into the khaki and gold rootiness of desiccated beech.
As a Something tunnelled beneath the Axminster of leaves,
lifting it like a hand under newspaper trying to engage a
lazy cat, breaths were held,
ageing runner’s knees ruminated;
the audible tearing of roots became visceral.
We expected a protruding snout any second
for many seconds,
but one false move was made, and
the myth mined its way into legend.