Thursday 2 March 2023

Five Poems by Lawrence Wilson

 



Detectable

 

the motion detector light flicks on

snapshotting the fox, tiptoeing

down the steps, ears and eyes alert

for any scrap of food

 

sometimes it’s the ginger cat

from three doors down, insouciant

that feline strut, a declaration

of don’t-care-can’t-make-me

 

but sometimes it’s nothing at all

empty air—that’s when I grapple

with not-quite fear, wondering

what is walking our path tonight



Myth Making

 

I wonder, sometimes, if Icarus never fell

but fled, freed by unexpected fortune

a gift of sea-salted feathers, a sky

wider than any distant castaway dream

 

it was never his fault, never his sin

that his father had displeased a king

but exile was still his lot to endure

a brooding aggrieved father, and no mother

 

though we never hear about his mother

she was never mentioned in the myth

dead in childbirth? Executed by Minos?

whatever. Erased from the essential story

 

still, Icarus must have missed her

may we imagine, though, that she’d been marooned

on some other island, another lonely banishment

and he was striving to find her, fly to her

 

on the gift of his clever father’s wings

the legend insists that he flew too high

but perhaps he only flew too far, away

from his father’s grip and the king’s anger

 

perhaps the tale was rigged, rejigged, warped

to benefit the powers that be, the sires insistent

no one would leave us by choice

so he must have fallen, must have drowned

 

part of me imagines an Icarus instinctive, smart

strong of arm and shoulder, impassioned of heart

and I want to believe that his wings carried him far

over the sea’s horizons to true loving arms



Remember This

 

there is a mist rising, low and thick

over the flat marsh-meadows

where the red cows graze by day

the moon is breathing on it

cool silver, cotton white

moon white

all made new, made strange, made different

 

no camera could hope to capture it

words are weak

and break in the fingers like dry spiderwebs

 

but remember this when you see it again

remember this when the moon breathes on you



Spiral Learning

it never was a circle—looks like one!

no, time’s a helix, spiralled, coiled in space
we never do return whence we’ve begun
each twist leads to a strange, familiar place

where sunlight warms, remembered from the past
where holidays, in bright succession, cheer
but not exactly as they did the last
time round the orbit. New lives, new deaths, fear

of gravity’s embrace—the galaxy’s

colliding with Andromeda, they say
just several billion years from now—so seize

the endless, timeless origami day

unfolding as we watch, and learn to dance
on heads of pins with angels. Take the chance




Thorns

 

thorns of winter’s breath

sharp spikes in the mouth, nose, lungs

but clean, sharp, unused

 

so clean, so unused

see how cold remakes the air

solstice alchemy

 

alchemy of sun

riding low in southern sky

now pivoting back

 

pivoting back now

promising spring, summer warmth

forget winter’s thorns




Lawrence Wilson’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in Albedo One, Cerasus, Agenda, Gramarye, One Hand Clapping, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Stone, Root and Bone, Best of British, The Poetry of Roses, The Pocket Poetry Book of Marriage, The Pocket Poetry Book of Cricket, The Darker Side of Love, on Salon.com and in other journals and collections. His first three collections, The April Poems, Another April, and An Illustrated April, are available on Amazon, as is his children’s novel, Mina, Etc.

 

 


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