What’s that season called when gravel
tastes of honey and pine-cones wait
like hand-grenades, when birds wheedle worms
and light figures from a middle distance?
That season when objects are dissimilar to
themselves and remarks coalesce under skin,
when police-cars whistle in passing,
when my father told the world to go home?
Or what when a cat cascades on its shadow
and forests are annotated with the pricksongs
of birds, and straightfaced trees lean
in upon each other, rabbits pow-
wowing, and the birds, their endlessness?
Then there’s the season each blackberry
has its own taste, night clusters
in hedgerows and a woman conveys
a shadow from one end of the field to the other:
and language seems too thick, a treacly
liquid we could not coax from mouths,
nor fit the time of year to the season.
Also when clouds dispose like statuary,
a woman is killed by a falling leaf,
a man stands beside the silence of a river
and the silence takes the form of words.
The moon scrapes a whistle out of cloud,
a meteorite smears slugtrails in the eyes.
Against this, the ironic iron thistles founder.
The moon disengages, the sun has prior commitments.
The clouds make cogent their excuses.
Giles Goodland's book is forthcoming from Salt Editions.