Friday, 25 November 2011

My Yeovil Literary Prize winning poem


Attempting to interfere


Nerve pads are awash. April,
And one last star completes the realignment.
Lumpy movements in the grass,
Bellies like purses soft across the gravel.
Caution! Toads.

You checked your sleeping son.
‘Come on!’ and you were away to save them,
Toeing the road, you asked ‘Is that one?’
Your fingers on my arm after all these months,
‘Pick it up’ you urged and gripped on tighter.

I stooped to take it up and, inches from my face,
The double-headed dragon stared,
Its pointed faces wheezing in the crevice,
Copulating bodies locked behind it in the wall.
Layers of toads, the crawling and the dead,
Like patches of tar and cellophane.

There ought to be connections somewhere,
The walnut woven into a full fruit on the headboard,
You in slits of sunlight cut through childhood,
Strands to separate the hand from the intention,
Your past from now.

You let go, folded in your skirt about you,
Started off back up the hill.
Caution, people.
Caution.

(1991)

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