Proliferous Pink

     something very small and simple — Charles de Foucauld

i

with some

irony: scant steppe relic or

‘far-from-home’:

visiting

from where de foucauld /

to carry me,

as she carried…

 

ii

lights up

where the soil wanes

to a blemish.

having died & come back

half a dozen times,

your existence delimits:

tucked & /

eternal reprieve

 

iii

save tota pulchra

when your stem waxes

& leaves

toss on the wind

like scalplocks

before the pedicels

breach /

 

iv

lyke to that

wich made alle thinge /

your pastel rage

repeating

bloom by bloom,

shrived &

singly

 

 

 

 

Warrener

Each warren was managed by a warrener, whose task was to nurture, protect and trap the rabbits. He therefore needed to live on-site and his accommodation had a threefold purpose: living quarters; a storage space for equipment such as nets, traps and lanterns, as well as for the rabbit carcasses; and a lookout and defence against poachers—Anne Mason and James Perry

~

Exacts
by habitual

forces: weather, harriers, foxes—

numbers,
the ratio of bucks to does

then sources turves,

trudges the warren’s banks
looking to fix tumbledown, blown-furze,

the weak & todden slope— sign
of passerby

or poacher? He (for this craft is patrilinear)
sits up at night, watching

the interloping stars
pick across the sky’s cold smear

or clouds billowing like mud
through stirred waters.

Dawn voices
a thinking topography. The banks

stretch round, they hold like margins,
the burrows, the blown

sand, trapping bank arrayed
with snares pegged in. A squeal goes up.

The autumn cull in full swing:
ferrets jigging in their cages

as a lurcher lolls its tousled head
up, round   settles

back into the sling of its willow limbs.

Downstairs, the seasonal hires
breathe deep. The youngest whimpers. Soon

they will troop out
with precise choreography.

Some will tend the snares, pluck
the blood dazed

coneys out
with a snap of neck. Others will pour

the ferrets in, those spry and murderous little men
dressed for terror.

He will orchestrate, mostly, make sure
the furs are spared

too much damage   that nothing suffers

more than is necessary.
Necessary.

The squeal subsides.

When he goes to meet it,
he will be wearing
white.

 

 


[In addition to teaching English at Social, Emotional, and Mental Health school, James Coghill writes poetry on broadly ecological and religious themes. Most recently, he has had work included in 14 Magazine, Pamenar, and the Hythe.]

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