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TWO POEMS

 

FIELD RECORDING

 

When you record the air,
its soundings go boneward. 

 

A small, ear-sized mushroom
collapses upwards into 

 

a state of pure colour
and to draw it with sounds 

 

then becoming words
is an amiable task. A ladybird 

 

lands on your sleeve:
it smells brightly, 

 

orange-tipped emulsion,
chewing noise until

listening pauses: aural
history is an opening skull,

huge weathered stones
left by ancestors 

 

are a broken eminence.
Could we be its fontanelle? 

 

As a slender membrane
sinks like a trampoline 

 

through the filleted sky,
so the ear grows into the ground 

 

at the speed of slow echo.
We want to exist 

 

like humpback whales,
let our song gather itself 

 

around the whole world
and return the same notes 

 

yet somehow changed
by the timbres of distance, 

 

but that sheer blue crow
feinting on its updraft 

 

is a new distraction
picked from a bucket 

 

of luminous seeds and fungi.
Before you pack the gear away 

 

please mention the grass growing
and the gentle blush 

 

teeming in your cheeks,
the near swoop of an eyebrow.

 

 

ROADKILL REDACTED

 

It’s true that I’m the slightly bloated carcase of a young roe deer sprangled on the edge of the central reservation. Like something in amber, my legs are a tangled glyph, my face flayed by insects, as traffic iterates and reiterates its sane and modal realism. A million flies have drunk from my fraying tear ducts. Neutral voids, my eyes; where small nightmares well up and print themselves on tarmac in an abacus of hoofprints trying to skitter back across the road. Mushroom grey and fawn brown, my fading hide toughens to vellum; the soft white of my rump patch darkened by oily deposits. Meanwhile, the impact that killed me had been growing for as long as my life: via tracks, lanes, C roads, B roads, A roads, along the dual carriageway, down the radiant slip road and onto the motorway proper. Just a glancing blow, you in your fraught unfreedom witnessed me fragment in your mirror then coalesce into death. It’s hard to imagine who might drag away this body, this idea without value or end. But it’s just as difficult to think of staying here forever, as scurvygrass gradually illuminates my stricken frame, and the whole sky erodes me until truly I am dust. For now I’ll just rest, attempt to pick out what grizzled stars I can in the brief and dull interludes between headlights that sometimes come in the smallest hours.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is a writer, book editor and naturalist from Bristol, England. Recent work has appeared in the likes of Arc Poetry, Datableed, Interpreter's House, Molly Bloom and Otoliths. He was awarded second prize in the 2015 UK National Poetry Competition.

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