Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sunset on a Country Churchyard


Today’s poem is a recent revision of an early piece, written in 1972, first published in Reach (issue 6) poetry magazine in 1997 and subsequently in my first collection.

Whenever I read early poems, I am often prompted to make revisions; sometimes major, sometimes minor, but always significant. Oh, but if only we could look back on our lives and do the same…

SUNSET ON A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD

A subtle blush
haunts the sky like a shy ghost
stroking the fair-haggard visage
of a long day’s dying

Owl, flying the killing fields;
confetti, where hearses
passed for wedding cars, answer
to a mother's prayers;
a clapping like bats' wings
for fraternity's sake
in the womb-tomb of our history
at this, my wake;
fireflies, frantically obscuring 
photographs of us, like the tears 
dancing on every eye 

A full moon's up,
Rabbit starts, darts for cover;
Owl knows better (even than us)
how soon it's all over

Copyright R. N. Taber 1997; 2001; 2014

[Note: An early version of this poem appears in Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Book, 2001.]







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