Present to the Non-Human

Present to the Non-Human
Published: Sep 27, 2020
Standfirst
A poet and naturalist with a remarkable ear for the sound-colour of words and phrases jams on the relationship between inhabitants and habitat, climate change and edgelands, the possibilities of re-enchantment, and 'wildness' itself.
Body

Cuckoo defending, journal of wild culture, ©2020

[o]

 

HEREDITIES

 

         To cuckoo the first

                spring in hear

makes a mockery

bushes move between takes

         and blushes also

to keep on taking bluish eggs

replace sing them with mock-eggs

                both-andscape paint

liberally misapplied

 

         y(our) face: a Welsh

dresser, a picture

of mountains in spring re-

         vegetating

your face is mountains in spring

meanwhile, knotty

                   oaks from the hanging wood — exactly that

expression

                   stained through use

but homely, modesty, between

             a table motioned

                   spins its tell-tale grain

 

such sweetly wandering

your teeth

 

a cuckoo clock spits

mocking a makery of such

ancient ideas — repeated

moist

but with larvae inside

creeping brain halved

          like a walnut

 

coracle

                       bundles over unmapped

 

a springhead dazzled

with star-snot

the cuckoo’s ‘fuck-you’

too true.

 

Eagle weather vane, journal of wild culture ©2020

[o]

DIAGRAM OF A BIRD-SCARER

 

An electronic falcon

unspirals the tree:

hyperobjects to roosting:

all the little birds

wanting to shudder

under night’s loamy wing:

disperse and disperse:

to find unreconnoitred

somewheres in new

haunts of an unsung world:

spread out through

end-tetherings

of unsure light:

canarying from balcony

to balcony as if they were

a banned packet of sweets:

      disperse and disperse

they sing obliquely

so as not to be overheard:

decreasing stubs of songs

that stult in the throat:

attenuated refrains

of diminishing returns

                   they call

        unrepresentatively

              in rough

cross-hatched shade:

where the backgrounds

aren’t properly filled in:

seeking refuge

in an unforeseen zone:

~outside of time

or not worth it: real

creatures made imaginary:

the indescribable: made real

 

meanwhile among the garden’s

enhanced realities:

this automated raptor

hangs glitching:

ejaculates stormcoloured code:

wherewithal attention traps:

forcing the passerby

to slip on noise-cancelling

headphones and complete

the rupturous puzzle:

with words alone.

 

Mistletoe, journal of wild culture ©2020

[o]


THE FUTURE NEVER GETS OLD?

 

churning mistletoe’s

late season chrome yellow

 

bifurcates year on year

these leaves doubly divide

 

thumbprint thick

tonguing through fog

 

with the dispersal radius

of a lost mistletoe marble*

 

flown sputtering and tiny

totally ignoring the rave

 

mistle thrushes and blackcaps

shit and smear the next

 

generation between

lattices of shadow

 

between rupture/rapture

a bark-wound that breathes

 

equally a mistletoe weevil

finicks across well-

 

thumbed sky-stained leaf

margins all forking late

 

yellows and hungover

following the freest party

 

known to humanity

or more importantly

 

let us at least remark

in a depauperate song

 

slim silent bittersweet nothings

where their notes should be

 

only tomorrow’s unfinished

drafts and partial recognition


* A micromoth looking like a very lovely bird-dropping: slate blue, charcoal grey, mistletoe green, shifting mousy brown and scampering black on a mute white ground.

 

Man's head stuck in earthquake road, journal of wild culture ©2020

[o]

M4 WESTBOUND

 

beyond the crash barriers:

hemlock skeletons

and oily yellow wild parsnips

 

flights of ripe rubbish

an exploded buzzard

many species of rain

 

through roaring shadows

and high earth banks with

long symbolic gaps between yellow cars

 

we milky passengers

huddled like pigeons

around the engine warmth

 

nodding asleep/jolting

awake in phase time

this repeated movement

 

always fractionally different

as a brightly vested person

lops overhanging branches

 

on the infinite verge

a wet cement sky

folding into itself

 

reflects our grey stratum:

road and plastic and road

sadly/luckily the highway will run

 

out before the thought

is completed – we can’t be

pioneers more than once

 

there are no sunflowers to sow

nothing indigenous in the true sense

so feel free to dig

 

until the tectonic

seams are revealed

and their drift

 

can be interpreted: today

we’re all cascading, declining,

processing into the west

 

and the idea of the West

burns like a flare

at the end of the motorway

 

somewhere near Caerfyrddin.

 

WC para break

 

DAVID HAWKINS is a writer, book editor and naturalist. Recent work has appeared in Arc Poetry, Blackbox Manifold, BlazeVOX, Datableed, Entropy, Interpreter's House, Magma, Molly Bloom, Otoliths and White Review. He was awarded second prize in the 2015 UK National Poetry Competition. David lives in Bristol, England.

 

 

 

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