Friday, December 28, 2007

Third attempt: In Dark Places

Revise, revise. Revise again:

In Dark Places

Cold in the ice - sparkles on needles
shaken as chips skip from the trunk,
resin-scent curls moulting: a death
of seasons. That axe is treasured.
Old wood slots within the steel that lops
root from bole, warming the hands
that swirl it in arcs through air
as brittle as decorations.

Good will requires flames, a heap
of amber tongues licking goose meat
turned in lines over the stony pit.

We are in dark places, my love.
We can sit knee to hip and wait
beneath our stencilled angels -
but he won't come. He has no trust
in scratch-mark wings or cold hearths.
Still, I treasure these bricks, know:
our darkness has warmth, a comfort
of arms and dry cloth for the wrapping.

This new god of ours, he has a glitter
in his sled and a red coat to sleep on -
Will you dream in his beard tonight?

I bought you a present, wrapped
in scraps as torn as pockets. It is
- a bribe, I suppose, a new axe -
its shiny shape caught my eyes
like decorations dangled from boughs.
You can keep it by the door, if you like,
or hung on the wall where our fire burned
before I bricked it away, for safety.

1 comment:

  1. This makes me dreadfully guilty, not having yet bestirred myself to post up my own revised version of the Dark Places poem. I know what you're all thinking. She can dish it but can she DO it?

    Paranoia, paranoia.

    Tis the festive season though. Still a few more days of hiding under the duvet left to me.