Unrequited forester contrite with sunrise


still smouldering
with interred lightning
this tempered wilderness

life drawings of fire
dance in alphabet

hills make charcoal
smudge the outlines
saltpetre heathen tongues

peel back these veins
as gut for flamenco

in the valleys now
courts the dragon
eludes the celibate dawn

will your heart match
the wing flap

seek without shame
and make fertile
this ear drum’s beat

cast lots along the razorback
to such unending desire

this true name
can only be spoken
by counting years aloud

into any inferno
I will call them out
wanting to hear

all you have again
in a quickened reprise



First published North of Oxford August 2017. North of Oxford Most Read Poem 2017.
‘Unstill Mosaics –  The Book of Love, Loss, and Longing’ 2019.

Photo: David Safier courtesy Field Naturalists Club of Victoria.

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