Feral Water

 

I wake with vixen stink all over my thoughts.

By the beck of neglected paths, someone has graffitied the God

of Minor Discretions' face on the trunk of a lightning-loved yew.

 

I have seen memories of otters make churchyards of these waters.

Heard ghosts of gone children beg the riverbed to release them.

But stones do not care for ethereal creatures.

They are best friends with sticklebacks and minnows.

 

AG once tickled trout so well here, she ended up marrying one.

Before Poland distracted its scales, transformed its mudheart rainbow.

 

A drowned child flows giant here. I offer fistfuls of moon daisies

as a useless apology for the life he never grew wild enough to live.

He never swims in close enough to touch them though.

His myth anchors tight to the abandoned dreams of a broken mother.

 

Three apple trees offer their fruit as talismans to anyone pious

enough to disown the history of them. Those years of blackberries

sacrificed to crumbles, how delicious a thorough pillage can be.

 

I want to throw my sadness as pooh sticks to the wide, crumbling

mouth of the bridge. Feel the pull of it lessen as the sea reels nearer.

 

There are whales that remember the intimacy of the 19th century.

Breathed the same air as a world where planes had not been invented.

My heart would turn whale if it could.

It has jonahed the need of you for years now.

 

The beck will trade the fluidity of its voice to winter soon enough.

Believe itself a younger sibling to the ways of arctic tundra.

On certain nights when the moon croons quiet, this whole sky

swells with winged creatures disguised as solar wind.

 

The following spring, tadpoles will croak fluent

Norse God from the stomach of fledgling kingfishers.

This is a landscape intimate with the fierce art of swallowing.

Come close to the vixen stink of my thoughts, their teeth.

 

 

Grapes For The Dead

 

How the quiet drifts in on its swan feet, deceptive.

They come to where three waters meet - rickety gods

that swirl river-tongues below a waning moon.

 

There’s no such thing as ghosts, his small lips

work the way of winds through bed sheets on a line.

This is how a November existence has washed him.

 

Behind the dead oak that exposes its heart

to every unwary dog that sniffs past, the lifebuoy

sits mothering its red ropes, pure mythology.

 

Ms. Janus, our new history teacher, says some stories

imagine themselves as being real. Will try to gobble

their children up the way I swallow toast and beans.

 

There are peeled grapes in his pocket, swaddled

in a plastic packet for the ducks that do not return.

The adults get on with sieving tears to nothing, again.

 

By the wooden seat with the metal plaque screwed on,

a pile of pebbles contemplate what it might be like to be a pack

of geese imagining themselves as a gaggle of siblings

 

that glide between the estuaries of being alive, being dead. 

How the skins of certain rivers will sometimes whirl together,

haemorrhage buried memories into scars that can mark water.

 

In the back seat, the afterwards drags itself inside the car 

on its drowned limbs. Unanchors the child until next year.

One day when I’m older, I will swim away. Just like them.

 

 

Deadheading

 

My fingers begin their slow forgetting.

How long does it take for shared history

to become the bones of mythology?

 

The Mournes burn their hearts out all weekend long.

The gulls are full of the embers of them.

If love is a dialect, ours purrs wind.

 

Winter's return is distance turned feral.

My womb becomes a hot water bottle

that stains the mattress whenever there's frost.

 

I'm tundra these days. A woman scrubbed bare

of the vegetation that colours me.

My seedling pots sing the song of empty.

 

Weeds of unrequited love haunt cities.

Separation maps replotted as sprawls.

Marcia Hindson lives in a village at the top of a hill surrounded by woods in the north of England that has fields and sky in every direction. This wild landscape influences her work. She is obsessed with moss, clarts and touching trees. She is a proud, feral weirdling.