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January 2016 vol 11 no 4

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Claire Everett

Becoming a Page


Most often, they’re happened upon by the wayside sometimes caked in blood and mire but strangely intact, belying the pain that dragged them there. To glimpse such a one, when it is said and done, is to miss the spell as it is cast and find the candle snuffed, but faintly smoking.

night-rise
ink seeps skywards
from iris and ivy
in the quiet of a word
becoming a page

The hole is crescent-shaped as if, by moonlight, the earth were moulded to the mason’s form. That time – their time – is when the bluebells have given themselves to twilight, but the stars of the May still burn, sickly-sweet.

the hand
that lifts the starry latch . . .
the nose-tip
of an idle saunter
through the day’s scents and tracks

Quite the gastronome, it seems, but she likes nothing better than the lowly worm that turns the clay, though a sweet tooth might send her snuffling after windfalls, or even climbing a plum tree to satisfy a craving. Now the boar: not the blunderer you imagined, no, soft of foot and quicker than you’d think, more graceful and lithe.

Sometimes there’s a yip, or a yelp, or the otherworldly wail of a sow in search of her lost mate. The old folks say that if there comes such a cry followed by the call of an owl, you have heard your own death knell. A claw worn at your throat will seal your lips to secrets . . .

don’t try to keep me
from wildness and magic
I learned long ago
the rabbit-proof fences
that came with badger gates


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