A Field in England

A Field in England

Your hands lower me into a gentle pool of sleep

I sink like a peat turf returned to the earth

the beckett that cut me

hangs over the fireplace

a paddle or a bat

to play games out in the summer fields

or to push us through waters black

as summer berries left to soak until winter.


The slumberous weight of ages

pulls me down into chambers

hewn from the bedrock

where I roam unencumbered

by the light of the sun

to a place where bog men and women

whisper their flattened tales

to anyone prepared to listen.


The distance between worlds

is as great or as small as that

between the eyelets of the boots

I lace in the hall's half-light.

Beyond the vaulted threshold

tundra flowers drip their muted colours

into the pillars and escarpments

of Europe after the rain.


Decalcomania sheets billow and arch

in wind that tears in from the coast

plying salt upon the lips

of pilgrims who lie coiled

in the gullies of a landscape

that strains at its moorings

as if a ship bound for spoils

that lie buried in the new land.


A marsh lamp beckons.

That I know not to follow

nor care where it leads

is the awful measure of this place.

Shoals gather and I swim

with the best of them

but with a flicker it is gone

and I wake to find myself

lost in a field in England

and so very far from home.

January 2020