Thursday, April 1, 2010

Simon West


Daffodils I say the word
and there they are before my eye.

Daffodils I say the word and yet
it neither captures them or stands quite free.

Daffodils say themselves in pigment pollen stamen
green thrust towards, then imitation of the sun.

Daffodils dipping their heads heavy as bells
Daff and Dill climbed up the hill.

Daffodils I say the word and know I am
and know I am no daffodil.

-previously published at Snorkel

To Wake In Someone Else's Dream

To wake in someone else’s dream –
weather that warmed bare
arms and the inner arch of feet.

In a capital of lost provinces
to keep crossing avenues of flowering tiglio –
unmarked doors were just ajar
all the birds were facing south.

Lime trees, we reminded ourselves.
Lime tea at all hours.

And a flock of pigeons rose –
no, click of slats as old women drew their blinds.
And a heckle of car horns was heard – no,
bells from a distant church
recalled. And listen,
a blackbird, now, at dawn not evening.
You said, happy as a blackbird, and talked
as if at home. Still
they sing alone. Branches
were dark under summer leaves.
Not a whit less solid. Coated in lime.


We leaf before daylight from blackwood or iron
barkleaf on a pulse pressing as breath:
green vowels from blackwood.
They falter by nightfall. Their colour bleeds away.
We hope at the end of stuttering twigs: hard
won foliage. Even the lightest notes fall to ground.

In the thick of things there was eavesdropping,
there was sunlight sunk on events. Where we trailed
the forest there were pathways
to hold as a sound, and wingand voice of startled bird.

We clasp single words.
We feel the rough shell of what has fled. An age
may slip from our hands.
We leaf before daybreak.
Our foliage is sparse. We leaf on an impulse
from blackwood or ironbark.

The Mirror

everything changes.

The mirror breaks and we find a way through.
Shards cling to our cheeks like cold water.

Blackbird song streams in a startled mind.
Courses rediscovered in spring.

A new vowelfills our mouths.


Even the faintest ways lead.
In late spring the grass grows fast in the mountains
a foot or two high and folds
to mark the passage of a child.

Followers even by night
by torchlight, somewhere
we have no word for
climbing slowly.

Silence keels, its slate roof sinks
on things.
Scattered voices ask of you.
All we have a certain liberty.

-all three previously published at Mascara Literary Review

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