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in collection, The Sorcerer’s Arc, 2004, Hearing Eye 

 

 

Sestina

It doesn’t matter how you tell the story,

as long as you remember how it starts:

the sun must fizzle out in darkened skies

and furtive shadows creep across the lawn.

Of course there is a churchyard and a ghost,

and usually a child who’s lost his way.

 

A frightened child who always asks the way,

and finds himself mixed up in someone’s story

something about a churchyard and a ghost

who makes his presence felt in fits and starts

before his furtive walk across the lawn

to leave his shadowed outline on the skies.

 

Next day beneath the ever-blue of skies

the tale is seen in quite a different way:

cucumber sandwiches on the well cut lawn

are more in keeping with a shared love story,

one that finishes where tender kisses start

and no-one stops to think they’ve seen a ghost

 

until the heroine disturbs the ghost,

whose phantom fingers creep across the skies

and rushes back to where the story starts

to try and make it end a different way.

The problem is you have to start the story

where furtive shadows creep across the lawn

 

and once those shadows creep across the lawn

it’s almost certain that you’ll see the ghost

and set the wheels in motion for a story

where sunlight fizzles out in darkened skies.

There doesn’t seem to be another way

 the end is anchored where the story starts

 

the curtains rise, the cast appears: it starts

as scary shadows slant the haunted lawn –

the child who’s lost won’t go a different way,

he’ll stumble in, alone afraid.  The ghost

will rise, disturb the sun and blacken skies,

he’s present now, and always, it’s his story

 

and like all stories, it must end.  And start –

it’s happening now – the troubled sky, the lawn,

the ghost await the child who’s lost his way ...

 

June English

 

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and in ppf shop online:
poem card -
Fragment

and in the shop ...
collections:
"Survival Cider",
"Sunflower Equations",
and
"The Sorcerer's Arc",
Hearing Eye

"Counting the Spots",
Acumen

pamphlet collection: "Seeing it Through",
Hen Run


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