Poems

Persephone: Departure

I
Yesterday there were honey fields.
Yesterday there were swallows.
Today – scorched stalks.
Gulls shouting.
Clods of earth, newly-turned,
shine like wet cobbles.
A line of mist in the west,
as though fires raged out of control.
Amber, russet
creeping, creeping.

II
Mist rolls in and out, lying low in fields,
the earth steaming,
the sun a full moon in the midst of the grey.
Ploughed fields glisten menacingly,
treacherous mires.
Puddles stretch across lanes.
Ash trees plaster the pavements
with anaemic leaves.
Oaks stand patiently, waiting
to be stripped of their copper.
The music of tiny birds –
a blue tit on a branch,
a robin by the roadside.
Flowers on the gorse
bright yellow
unexpected.

III
The sky is cloudless this morning,
winter woods black
against the sun in the south.
A gull glides over a white field,
dropping to peck at the snow.
Ice crunches underfoot,
as though we walked on sea wrack.

IV
In the shadows and in the hollows
snow glows indigo,
a shade from an early Picasso.
A stream carries the sky.
Bubbles spin like planets.
A repeating note of birdsong.
A church spire pointing:
Plato’s finger in Raphael’s painting.
Snow slips
from the gorse.
Hills lie all around like fallen cattle.

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