Written for the exciting and wonderful ‘Magpie Magazine’ http://www.myspace.com/magpiemag
There is a small set of stairs beneath
The smoke and blue-stained primates of a Southern town.
Maybe only three or four paces – no more –
And remarkable only
For the shadows left by my first stretching roots;
Burnt web-like, cordite on concrete, zeniths kissing
Each others fingertips, exchanging secrets and
Pulling liquid out of stone.
I can almost remember when
Knotted barks and dewy brackets
Stretched through that old house, pebble-dashed,
Its windows straining against boughs, the first
Velveteen buds of spring
Rubbing; children’s noses pressed
With blanketed raptures on the bars
Of the cages at the zoo,
Underground, they thicken. Great cracks
Quickly after appeared in concrete –
Years passed beneath the coughing
Of multi-coloured exhausts, white lines
Flashed at eyes beneath a camphor path!
The leaves may curl once a year, but my feet find
Colder sands to press into. Disused slate mines,
Catacombs, tube lines.
Southern towns and pick-axes; these may be
To turn on their head, now’s the time!
Let us move outside, take what is ours and push –
Push deep into the soil, find cracks in which to
Force the leaves,
And let the earliest knuckles of drinking wood
See some light, for once.