posted in: Poems 2016 | 0



Come shaking into water, I

Swam foolishly

In small hope of

Summer’s final sunlight

To gild me,

Forests to frame me, and

The river

To wash it all away.

–       Snow on the mountains.


Close to the bank, there were

Branches to cling to,

In shallow lappings,

–       For fear of the depths;

Lifelines beside eternal current –

Ramparts, at river’s edge, of

Autumn’s tangled cities –

Guarding mud and lost feathers;

Crusted cowpats barbed with dead thistles;

Desiccated grasses; dust-brittle leaves.

–       Submerged, leviathan trees; rocks’ threat.


Bullet eyes skim the flow;

Circle brambles’ proud hoven;

Land inch-perfect.


This is your kingdom.

Crowned now with

Fleeing azure;

Twice-given sapphire;

–       Dead black.


The splendours of

Your holy wings

Honour your waterside lands –

Home of the burrowing righteous – with

A hope of beauty and life;

Light and sky

For all the tiny cousins

Of Ezra’s ant.


For me,

–       Suppliant, sinner, refugee


By a world

Too big and smashed and angry;

–       Exiled to flounder beside whirlpools,

For me,

Your sentinel beauty:

Salvation above thorns and eddies,

Absolution in a wing beat.

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