we have a narrative about the future
it will be black and white
it will be like madness to us
it will emerge from a darkened room
it will need us to hold hands
the light we see it by is no stronger than a candle flame
we feel weak in the future and strong in the present
we depend too much on that narrative
Claire Crowther has published two collections from Shearsman. The first, Stretch of Closures, was short-listed for the Aldeburgh Best First Collection Prize. Claire’s poetry and reviews can be found currently in Poetry Review, Poetry Wales and Poetry London.
Fog covered the Tor and instantly lifted.
Sodden towels dragged
on a washing line. A woman shook
her door curtain. Its strips bunched
like hair. A Tshirt hung
heavy on the waist of a barefoot girl who swung
a flip-flop in each hand. A pregnant woman protruded
from her kitchen, faced the vicious hail as it beat
even bleached jeans to darkness on thighs. A man in a dhoti jerked
back from wheel splash. Wind and thunder groaned
at each other. Our trees swayed.
On the Sweet Track huge elms stood
calm. Heat loosened
like teeth. The Levels were still.
The rain is slipping them out of their ceremonies
to begin winter, her father walking the garden
threatening to cut down the bare plum
and pear, and her mother running
after, pleading that the trees
will fruit in summer,
her mother’s hurta
eaten together while they ask
the longest moon to scatter silver in
their hair at an angle so narrow that each
sees the bits of blackened iron stuck in grass
at their feet as cloves in the shining flesh of apple.