Stones and Sweeper - Chad Campbell
What news do you bring us?
It's October. The leaves have fallen.
From where? The thicket on the slope?
No. Higher on the ridges, the oaks.
What of the ranger? Of the coast?
The tine of his lantern on the coast.
Who will sweep the leaves from our stones?
I will sweep the leaves from the stones.
Like the woman painted the watches' hands?
Yes, pointing the brushes with their tongues.
You will come to us? October and October?
October and October and October.
And in the meantime? Where will you go?
I will be with the ranger.
Upon the coast?
The thin tine of his lantern on the coast.
We will wait by our stones.
My radium ghosts in the radium oaks.
Walking Dwelling Thinking - Rebecca Hurst
This wood has a thousand exits and entrances:
stiles, gates and tripets, gaps and breaches.
This wood is hammer-pond, chestnut and chalybeate,
charcoal and slag heap, leats and races.
This wood hides the boar-sow in a thickety hemmel;
is home to the scutty, the flindermouse, the kine.
This wood is cut and coppiced and burned.
Each decade catched-hurt—it takes a tumble.
This wood is two green and clay flanks pinched
by the link of iron bridge over water.
This wood keeps its secrets: the peaty-black
knuckerhole where the dragon lies sleeping.
This wood scolds with a tawny owl’s brogue
shrucking and shraping, kewick hoohoo.
This wood is ashen, eldern, and oaken
a mile from the village, ring-fenced, well-trodden.
This wood summons you from out of your house
to walk through leaf-fall and bluebells and moss.
Wind in Trees – Vona Groarke
Tonight the wind tries on fancy dress
in the attic rooms of trees,
crinolines and winkle-pickers,
mustachios and swords,
a jewelled fob-watch keeping time
with my shutters’ throb and hum.
Silks crinkle precisely at my window
and, at my door, an ivory cane
is summoning my name.
I ask will anything ever change.
First the trees say ‘No’ to me.
Then the wind says ‘Yes’.
Pyramid – Frances Leviston
All along the skyline, cranes
quiet above rooftops,
conspicuous as knives dropped
vertically into carpet,
or set at right-
angles, corner brackets
bolting the sky to the ground.
They dangle claws on chains,
balanced by elevated breeze-blocks,
into the unfinished town,
fishing a pond
that hasn’t been stocked.
Their paint-work’s bright as macs
in rain, or the mops and pans
a woman once persuaded me to sell
door to door,
describing in the air
of her living room a pyramid,
of all mysterious extancies, her red
nail climbing floors
to the vertex, where it stood,
as she effortlessly said
“in no time at all
you’ll have a lifestyle just like mine…”
Through the cranes’
necks the cloudburst rings,
across the clad
stone hotel still missing
its penthouse, its punchline,
like the old cartoon
where a skeleton drinks champagne.