Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snowdrop 0.2: The Cottage on the Marsh

'Kay, so I'm a bit rusty with this poem-writing palaver, and NaPo starts on Wednesday (eek!). So I thought some practice would be a Good Thing.

And as I'm hoping that much of April's endeavour will be focussed on finishing the first draft of the interminable project, it makes sense to start getting back into shape with some gentle revisions. Hence the section below:

The Cottage on the Marsh

The shadows sharpen when the shawl of clouds
finally slip, framing the coin
of the winter sun on the wave of Lympne.
Once a great cliff that walled out the sea,
it tumbles in drifts down to the hem
of flat marshlands.
            A matrix of ditches
and sewers drain sinews of light
through deep sluices to sink in the tides
of England's Channel. The churned fields
are bare of crops; coppiced willows
stake their borders.
            A scrap of a woman
with a strand of tinsel trapping her hair
walks from the town on winding lanes
to an crumpled cot crouched in a field
away from the road; she whistles carols
to keep herself warm.
            In the west, the fireball
sickens and gutters, is swallowed by the hill
where a garland of mist garners the trees.
When she lifts the latch on the laminate door
that guards the cottage, a gust of cabbage
steamed in the sweat of certainties greets her
to swab away the smudge of Hythe.

God help us all!

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