March flies swarm and spill.
Blistered prints of dragon-flies and frogs.
Dream zones of bright verdure.
A shell, its nose held up,
crumbles at the merest touch,
but the hard edge holds:
this instrument sounds like
an owl call, as I stride into
the summer forest, owls about.
The tail of the damsel-fly
blown up a bit with blue.
She taps, as she would
a murder weapon.
But it’s OK. Three blues, belts, gleam.
My lover passed away
(a little fat, he always sank the boat),
though I don’t like boys
and no-one’s died on me.
The owl breathes into the night.
I imagine the circle of its mouth.
I enter a forest made of owls,
I imagine, to flush out firs.
The maple, by day all cut through,
now’s like a fawning dog.
He sits upon my lap. He licks me.
He wags his docked tail.
I touch you with a hand
in which I have no feeling.
Lupins break out on the slope.
We go to sleep.
Their hungry throats. Give them something.
Toss it? Or on the palm to the mouths?
Mr Gem scales the bank. The scent of hay.
Mrs Worthing left earlier in the morning.
The heron walks. The marsh is hunched.
Above it, another with ragged wings.
‘It’s my birthday!’ says the first.
‘Mine too!’ the other calls back.
You think that I’m watching this,
then writing out the lines (when you’re asleep).
But I’m not up to poets
and their guile. I’m dozing.
The delta’s full of gull, not joining in.
Like my eyes. Like my hands.
Then when it’s dark this beetle
joins and unjoins the pear-tree leaves.
Two others turn the shelves of oak
to leather armchairs full of crumbs.
Deck-chairs, the unreal ones,
join battle in the garden, like speech.
Can’t sit. Can’t lie. It’s all wrong.
But in the end you doze off in it.