Lush pastures lick the brook's tendrils
lilies & brambles caught
in an undergrowth of grit.
Rumbling buses race the valley stillness,
the rose blouses perk up
dawn, hill hidden
fragments between my footsteps;
trains & stealthy cyclists
I watch shadows
eyes alert freeze
at the slightest sound
half wraith, half hidden face
moon in the grey blue
slinky felines watch
an early morning game.
where breath's dewy veil
sunlight touching my hands.
Dry pastures and dusty stream beds round
the oak tree, rooks fly past pylons, stony
roads, gushing islands - the black-coated
leave a bare fisted salute bound
with thorns, you utter a choked sob.
Over that hedge a demon roars, in its ravine
sunshafts slice golden stubble, at high noon
starless, bible black, ,pasture lean,
where you go nobody knows
cloud concealed, unseen.
Under the tree giving the finger - rook, fly
over blackened cornfields
up the flanks dense to the horizon,
never believed so many undone.
Barren ridge, a stormwind howls
on the face, grass to caress 'n' tumble
down scree - see, the bushy valley
we enter to come in -
hollow protected by grace - darn be –
rooks fly out of mists
droplets slowly descend
the hidden pasture valley – shelter in
the crevice, the womb.
Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator currently living near Paris. He has translated Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr. In 1995 and 2003, he was invited to the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec. He is the editor of Quarante et un poètes de Grande-Bretagne (Ecrits des Forges/Le Temps de Cerises, 2003) and editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Latest poetry collections: Locked in, or out?, Red Ceilings Press, and Bacon, Bits, & Buriton, Corrupt Press, both in 2011.