For one night only

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For one night only

 

By 5.30 they were gathering.

The paintbox sky was losing the will,

and I called you from the shore,

to draw you out,

to parcel up the moment,

before the darkness scrubbed everything away.

 

Ten minutes later you were by my side,

your face in profile –

bruised from another day’s assault,

but reliably perfect –

gaze following the swarm of starlings,

over and above and around and over the water,

lost in their murmurations,

wanting to be neither explained nor described in words.

 

Lapsed finally into that state, immeasurable in time,

we prayed for the inevitable gloom to somehow spare us,

we begged each one of the thousand birds

to circle once again before dropping to the reed bed.

 

I kissed an exploratory tear as it left your eye,

knowing exactly what it was for.

 

 

first published in Wildflower Muse, 2016

 

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Before winter’s first frost

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Before winter’s first frost

 

an unprecedented silence is combing the air,

and colours are forgetting themselves below

 

darkening rafts of sky, a universe-deep in stars,

reaching in between the crowded roofscapes.

 

Perhaps a milk-jug moon is flooding monochrome

ghostlight over the cupped hands of the valley,

 

laying up shadows with fuse-wire precision.

At the appointed moment, a page is calmly turned,

 

and a hush of ice heaves crystals through

the geometry of the soil, or feathers its way

 

across the windows of cars on every street,

its signature written on a contract, now honoured.

 

first published in Young Ravens Literary Review, issue 5, 2016