My poem from the Handstand Press Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry which, along with Incoming, I’ll be reading at the Norman Nicholson Festival at the end of this month in Millom.
I wonder if, like me, the winter skies at Cunswick,
swathed in low cloud, above old scars of crag
and frozen garlands of brown bracken,
anticipate the welcome return of African visitors;
if underfoot, limestone bones ache for warmth,
dark fissured slabs buried beneath grass paths,
quietly longing for early May’s trick of light,
tired bodies aloft after months of migration.
Do these hazels shiver with the birch and gorse,
recalling dog days, the fall and rise of darts feeding,
the speed of mameluke sabres cutting air curves
with absurd precision over woods in full leaf?
And below, flowing through Kendal’s grey canvas,
does the Kent reflect colours of summer expectation,
thoughts of days spent bird watching with you,
on the long return alone to a Cumbrian terrace?
Published by Handstand Press 2018 ‘This Place I Know’
(Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry)