Henri Province in Wessex

By JOSEPH HARRISON

Now, when the thatch-roofed cottages

Send up their puffs and curls

From heating folk and pottages,

And steadily thickening swirls

 

Of snow-feathers settle, limning

Lintels and mullioned panes,

And door lanterns waver, dimming,

And rusty weather vanes

 

Creak as they flip directions like

Befuddled gyroscopes,

A chilling bleakness seems to strike

Down all too human hopes

 

For what the year now past would bring

And how our lives would change,

Before our goals for everything

Had drifted out of range

 

(Time set aside for self-improvement

Got taken up like slack;

The old inertias stymied movement;

She never called you back).

 

When I, to see what prevents me,

Go blundering outside,

The blank the winter presents me

Scintillates far and wide

 

With all distinct articulation

Of coppice, hedge, and heather

Erased in glazed disanimation

By all-encasing weather

 

That levels whatever playing field

We thought the game was on,

And levels us, who stand revealed

As going, if not gone.

 

An influence presents itself

Where all this absence is,

As if one old book on my shelf

Inscribed precisely this,

 

As if down an empty country lane

I saw Thomas Hardy go,

Ghosting the track of some whitened pain

Like boot-prints filled by snow.

 

 

Joseph Harrison is the author of two books of poetry, Someone Else’s Name and Identity Theft

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 07]

Henri Province in Wessex

Related Posts

Water spray

October 2020 Poetry Feature: Lusa-American Poets

CAROLYN SILVEIRA
In Portugal, they were gifting traditional / dogs to goatherds who had lost / their way. My father was no / goatherd. My father, far away / in California had nightmares / about blackberries: They rose early to pick him / clucking in Portuguese, which he could not,/ would not understand.

Brazilian Poets in Translation

ELIANE MARQUES
Don’t carry large umbrellas (neither at night nor during the day) / They might seem to be an AR-15 rifle or an HK submachine gun / Don’t use drills / They can be confused with a pistol and the bullets being fired / Don’t carry bags / They can suggest that you’re carrying a bomb

poetry feature image

October 2020 Poetry Feature: JinJin Xu

JINJIN XU
And another alights on the sidewalk, / another alights, I step around their outlines / into our next life - om mani padme hum / you emerge from the red dawn to shake open my life, / upside down, flying dust, you unlock / the red cell, cameras light up one by one