Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Queen of All She Sees: 4 Hallowe'en


It comes round again
The smell of woodsmoke
in the living room
And scented candles
on the stairs
Outside, wet tarmac
Damp leaves and rain:
Making torchlight escapades
Shifting timber
For the last of last year’s logs
Beech and Elder,
Felled sawed and split,
Burning long and hot,
Yearning for that dry heat,
A treat for bones and limbs
We now live in twilight clouds,
watching for the gaps
at hallows eve,
to welcome or call halt,
interrogate ,ignore,
such memories or shades
that come calling.
You never know just who might come
Now dark has rolled up
And coughed its darkness all around:
Drop by and see what gives
Who’s alive and whose passed on,
Who’s fucking who and who’s in love,
Who’s out there on the edges, waving,
Or just there, standing,
On the edges,
I think we’re dreaming of the dead,
That the dead may dream of us.
At greenvalley’s edge the woods are full,
and yet she leaves the farmhouse
and goes alone
She meets and talks to all
Gathering the news,
Passing on warm breath
And hints of last year’s form,
Facing all and sodden sundry
With a basket of warm bread ,
Going to places where smell alone
Nourishes the guests.
Returns informed,
to apple bobbing and lambs breath,
old songs with the men,
damp harmony and deep bass drone
And trick or treating
Of a stranger kind
Hopes that village kids will dare the lane,
For treacle pumpkin pie
And the kitchen fire,
But knows their;parents have such sense
As keeps them from what they dare not know
But ,gathering up her brother from his books,
Plans gentle mischief,
Cloaked and hooded,
Carrying a fire brand,
With Wolf at heel,
They harry rabbits at the woodland edges
High up the valley wall
And howl at nearby houses,
Until the village dogs a-bark,
And shutters bang,
And the wandering child
Is pulled inside and , as midnight comes,
The village settles down.
for those peer out late they see,
high on Cam Peak's uncovered head
a woman and her brother Wolf
looking upwards at the stars
And in the morn,
As flour bags and blown eggs
Litter streets and lanes,
A slice of linen wrapped,
Greenvalley pumpkin pie
Is found, still warm,
For breakfast treat
A solid gift of life

From the wayward Valley’s queen.

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