States of Poetry

I was woken at some hour
of darkness before dawn by a scent so heavy
on my senses, on the room, that I was convinced

a burglar had broken in
and was loitering
upstairs or in the hallway, or having caught

my step on the stairs above him was lying low
in the laundry, or sitting
upright and unbreathing

in one of the Windsor chairs, unaware it w ...

The storm blows you back
              its funnel ardent
              its wide hungry eye
Its tongue croons you
onto flatline of prairie

When poppies drowsed you
red breath drew
gravity into your limbs:
you yearned for tall ...

The dawn is only a thought.

The fulcrum on which we rest our newsprint, our toothless fingerprints, our balmy Paxil days.

Only a thought of the windy, dwindling kind.

Wake to urgent messages, to the waltz of hours crisp and fragile as thin pastry. To roulette of lightning yes. Of arid no.

&nb ...

            The ‘greate fyshe’, terrible
colossus, dark cathedral of days
            and nights, arrests
lost Jonah in his flight. Three

            days and nights spent
in wet earnest pray ...

Cut out a sixth of the heart.
At a day old—furless,
close-eyed, resembling nothing
so much as an infant's thumb—
he can survive it.
The mouse can regrow that missing part
in three short weeks.

Aesop knew it:
to be mouse-hearted
is as good as wearing
the swagger of lion.

His heart
perhaps the size of ...

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