Bowl Barrow

 

I sit at the foot

of your tomb and watch

as fog descends

 

extends its cold fingertips across the crisp-moss hills

becomes a sudden sandstorm gathering speed and bite:

pursues a red kite, striking white under its wings.

 

Gorse shrubs

drop barbed spines

Carline thistles

shake dead heads

 

walkers are forced to battle

                        

              through fine                    fistfuls of vapour

         

                                emerging

 

    with chalk manes                  restrained

 

              travelling land they don’t

 

understand.

 

Their feet resist, create

rifts. Tug and trudge

disturb mud, stumble

over your grave; labelled

a bunker

a ditch

a crater.

 

I reach for my scarf, pull

it tight around my chest

feel the chill of damp grass

pull my  l   i   m   b  s  apart.

 

I am the bones beneath the barrow

 

left for none to see. 

 

 

Pin and Thrum

 

Primrose leaves soft and green

creased like wrinkled skin, fine

 

hair coats your stems, lanugo

to each new born limb. Pin-eyed

 

blooms rub against thrum

as the pale brimstone gathers

 

crumbs of nectar and nearby

buckthorn shoots. Your sepals

 

begin to tremble as day bows

to dusk, afraid of the passing

 

light and what life will be like

when dusk becomes night. You

 

long for her wings to brush your

petals, but the brimstone flitters

 

and quivers in the hedge as she

lays her oval eggs out of sight.

 

 

Ninety-three Concentric Rings

 

Your crenate leaves are the colour of clay silt

left to harden in winter.

 

Fallen apples, once green and flushed, gather

in sunken splits at your base; rusted orbs

 

leaking sour juice: collection long overdue.

 

Withered branches droop like unhooked

curtains, catch my fine knit cardigan, tear

a ragged gap in the sleeve’s seam

 

unearth roughened skin. My fingernails scratch

scrape past dead layers until I feel the living

dermis beneath.

 

I fill my bare basket to the brim

with discarded branches, forgotten apples

and lined leaves.

 

Lottie Angell is a Sussex based poet and creative writing/wellbeing workshop facilitator. She graduated with a first-class master’s in Creative Writing from The University of Brighton in 2018. Lottie is currently working on her chapbook The Isolation Hospital – an interaction with life through the lens of isolation.