The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.
Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made
is star-stuff too?
– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –
dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.
Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.
Thursday, 12 January 2017
Lost Species poem 16: Shirley Wright
And then, thankfully, I remembered Shirley Wright's fine poem. Here it is. Ragbag another day.
He has sucked the light
from the stars,
swallowed day and night,
tucked the moon
into a velvet pelt
so thick I struggle to breathe.
Matt black has never felt
more like drowning in soot
fathoms deep as he
paces the length of bars
there to protect me.
I would tear them down
if I could, replant
the Amazon and howl
like a baboon. But I can’t
conjure the jungle’s roar,
the covenant of wild and real.
Instead, I watch him circle,
take his photo, flinch as I feel
his glance graze my skin.
© Shirley Wright
This poem won 2nd prize in the Poetry Space competition. Shirley Wright’s excellent poetry collection, The Last Green Field, is published by IDP.
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- a perspective: figures on US deaths
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- Lost Species poem 16: Shirley Wright
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