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Archive for the ‘Making Sense’ Category

The Angel’s Missing Wings

October 24, 2007 6 comments

Standing at the edge of the pumped-up bed
she puts her fists into his back gently
but firmly, working the muscles.
She opposes them with deep down pushes,
waiting for the creak and scringe of ligament and bone,
feeling a way into his injury, his scarred layout.

Sounds of crackling and popping like bubble-wrap
drift with disembodied conversation.
‘When the pain eases, tell me,’ as thumbs
quest into knobbles, the central roots of a spine.
‘Yep,’ means a stronger digging in, a longer track
back to the feeling of no-pain, when the nerves

quiet to a hum lower than cars shushing by,
on the wet road outside the window. Sitting up,
he sees a chart plotting the nerves of the body,
a lattice shawled across shoulders; bright yellow
rivulets that trickle into streams threading down
the ruby, skinless torso. Even physiotherapists
like classical poses.

by Barbara Smith

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Soft Purr

October 23, 2007 1 comment
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Wolves

October 22, 2007 3 comments

Can’t find wolves round here — you’re convinced
you can, and not just when the wind shakes its muzzle.
The body-parts in the garden become familiar as ferns,
as does the turn in the stomach: the affirmation
of each organ as meat. They are piecemeal puzzles:
the black bean of a mouse’s gall bladder, a hunk of pork.
Howls spread from the paddock, racket the angles
of your bedroom until you come-to quietly,
pack hound through the copse of your duvet,
remembering dew on your feet, that dream of leaving
chunks of meat on the lawn, tripping through a furred circle
of curdled milk left for a cat you haven’t seen in weeks.

by James Midgley

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In Broad Daylight

October 19, 2007 Comments off

It was the dream where the neighbours came round to say
They had a badger in the garden —
Dreadful and endless opening of doors
As the dogs slipped their leads —

But a banal reconfiguration
Of an incident that actually happened:
The sudden darkness of the skies
Above a country where powers are abroad

And real to my quickening heart.
It was not a “sighting.” It was the air thickening,
A power narrowing its eyes.

by Tony Williams

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Cosmic Clocks

October 18, 2007 1 comment
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What Begins

October 17, 2007 5 comments

To catch a fish, breathe in the firmament,
Consider finality before you begin
Threading fly on thin filament.
Then find a seam where life slides
From one slippery dream to the next and cast
Lightly, with the current, never splash.

Inch your line out in a silvery arc,
Sinuous as love doubling back on itself,
And lay it fine on the shimmering drift
Where it listens for the swift nip of a question — a mere
Twitch between fingers — you must answer.

No time for doubt, pull steadily, pull,
Pull, keeping tension constant — spattering drops,
Splitting wave, breaking light, the slap
Of sudden weight on the gritty shore,
Where you must heft a rough stone
Without hesitation in one well-placed, final thud.

*

Eating a fish is not like catching a fish.
This is the brutal grace of hunger.
This is getting close to the bone, into the teeth.

With the fine blade of your knife, slit the
Silken underbelly straight
From anus to jaw and, as the scent
Pricks your nostrils, slide your finger in
Below the spine and strip the body’s cavity empty
Of its soft parts, washing it clean of blood.

Now, you may choose to fill a pan with
Butter and garlic, or clean bark
From a lean, green stick and thread the body
Onto its narrow bier to roast over coals.
But wait for the tail to curl and the flesh to sing
Before your teeth sink in, before swallowing what begins to be you.

by MB Whitaker

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Cabbage Water

October 16, 2007 Comments off

Dry earth spits dust, puffballs release spores,
tiny brown smokes. I remember hearing
the first welcome rattle on cabbages,
how the waxy leaves grew globes
of magnifying water, each with a dazzle
just above the lower margin. I looked
for the sunsource, found it in a patch
of brighter sky.

Hated the childhood flavour, love it now
with butter, pepper, caraway,
allied to lamb and potatoes, and later
a double-glazed lie-down,
a watery recollection.

by Colin Will

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