Winter 2005-6

Victoria Field


Earth and sky dizzy with sunshine
and I almost naked walked among purples
and yellows that inside would dismay
the eyes but here on the cliffs
dazzled us in the dying days of summer

the steps round the Minack treacherous
the beach too white too perfect green
sea clear as bells made of green glass
great swells sucking and swallowing swimmers
cliffs cathedrals of tumbling blocks
huge heavy high a Logan balancing

the tent rippled all night then sudden silence
when the wind whispered so low there was nothing
audible as the storm broke its promise
only the regular moan of the buoy
sad as a human tagged like Prometheus
far out to sea and the next day brightness
wiped away by a fog into stillness
and wet air hanging over us

harvest festival at St Levan a priest of cut glass
pretty her parishioners hearty with blonde
children an old man on sticks whose mother just
turned ninety nine - three fishes danced for the saint
his name a contraction of Solomon his stone
a giant fissured bit of granite with two buttocks
rude in the churchyard - old pews harvest fishes nets
and boats built of twigs dahlias abundant some pots
of jam carrots with mud on and carrots with none

you no glasses squinting me with the large
print hymn book a Methodist guest preacher
Cornish accent rumbling through the church
its twin naves its double altar like us two
you slender fast and sleek one of his fast fish
a flash of white diving into green Treen sea
dense foliage at your groin your skin a light surprise
me slow and timid seeing all those towers
of rocks above tall black chasms
with jammed boulders bridging them
the big sea shadowed

give thanks said the old farmer turned minister
for the plenty the tomatoes flowers and jam
the colour give thanks for the not having to lug
huge baskets up the fields that are dotted
bright green with forgotten potatoes catching
their green from the sea perhaps not wanted
for the hundred tons a week for crisps

oh I could watch you in the waves
til the Guernsey cows come silently
home along the lane by the campsite
hot breathed and not minding

it’s the green of your eyes
and love for which I’m thankful
yes thank you thank you than
k you - trying to do something green
with this language that can’t be done.




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