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last update:

17th Apr 14

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poetry favourites:
Kent & Sussex Poetry Society
 
Poetry School

and in the shop…
collections –
“Wishbone”
Shoestring;
 
“Pictures Against Skin”
Rockingham;
 
“Thinking of the Bull Dancers”
Littlewood
 
anthology (co-ed) –
“Four Caves of the Heart”
Second Light
 

 

 

 

After

After the families picnicking beneath the trees
on spread blankets among bluebells and wild garlic,
women unpacking baskets, cutlery chiming
 
while men lean back on their elbows and children
compete in a maze of grass stems
for the dandelion with the longest stalk –
 
after the boys shinning up a solitary conifer,
clustering in its darkness like excited birds
and sending down a shower of needles
 
while their older siblings sprawl on the benches
smoking and studying their mobiles
and a pair of lovers lie in each other’s arms
 
and a lone girl reads in the centre of a meadow
for an hour without moving as an impromptu
football match plays out around her –
 
after the clamour, the running and laughter,
the park alight as a weekend beach
flooded by the April sunshine into colour
 
he comes the next morning, early, bent over
in his pale coat, with his long spiked pole
moving slowly, carefully along paths and borders;
 
before light has touched the lowlands of Flanders
or the belfries pinned to the horizon
he appears like the mist itself compacting,
 
spearing all remnants, sweeping the ground clean,
grass closing again behind him,
nothing to say where anyone has been –
 
he comes like an owl at dawn, eerie, half there;
he comes the next day as surely as the day itself
and the one after that, and the one after.
 

Caroline Price

published in anthology The Best British Poetry 2012, Salt,
ISBN 978-1-907773-25-9;
first published in The North, no. 48, 2011