Monday, April 20, 2009

Back on the Horse

So portfolio is in and marked and now comes the four-month project I like to call 'write fifteen completely new poems (provided you can find twenty decent old ones)'. Baby steps, people, baby steps. Also thanks to Gwen for being good subject matter.


Some new stars came from dead stars.
Five billion years ago the sun came out,
Ichthyostega grew legs,
Quetzalcoatlus grew wings,
glaciers, rock hungry, moved mountains,
mammoths grew fur and survived.


An old dog with its hindquarters hung
in a wheelchair lurches across a field
after a tennis ball and other dogs
like the golden retriever watching his man
do cartwheels, yoga, juggle batons
between the cycle paths and building sites –
a white crane, a red crane – green-brown
grass under the saltire sky, crossed
with white jet fumes, the jet howling like a baby
in a stripy red romper inspecting
the wild round crinkled buds that burst
from every nook and notch of the old oaks.


My pretty black-haired friend,
I’m glad you joined me under my tree
even for a few minutes with your green
khaki messenger bag and Yorkshire brogue
to look at the hot spring afternoon with me,
even for a few minutes, and to say ‘it’s nice out’,
‘are you coming to the pub later’, and go,
dodging the joggers who have been here forever.


A toddler stamps toward her father
is hoisted to his shoulders and rides away;
swallows swing in the thermals,
jet engines still filtering through the branches,
the evening full of violins.


And the moon, half-meteor, half-earth,
rises opposite the middle-aged sun.

Thanks for reading, expect more soon!

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