States of Poetry Poems

In black chalk the beast
brusques forward   Silence   Rubens
has stopped his mouth
with a single line     He is already
awed by the den
he will find himself in even now
as his mane curls into wisp
of emptiness     A study on paper

But there in white chalk the grim
pose brightens
into ...

The grass grows longer on the easeway.

A pelican swipes the sky
            towards the seascape we can't yet see,
its webby legs outstretched:
                             & ...

Perhaps the best cells are the ones we can't kill off,
a persistence of the fittest, although mutation's
always painful. It's two thousand and fourteen,
and I know no-one who has been
uninjured. It thinks in me,
this shadow. I put on sunscreen, and am surprised
to come in contact with my skin.
In the same day, I'm chatted up in a café
by an aspiring nove ...

for Ian

And suddenly:
the men
are holding beers
and standing round
the trampoline,
and not the barbecue;
turning over toddlers,
instead of steaks.
The women
make the salads.

 

Fiona Wright

Recording