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Rolled up

  • Posted on February 9, 2020 at 5:39 pm

I come to you, not with baggage
but a rolled-up carpet, a rug
of dust, footprints and wear.
Sometimes it unrolls – something
pulls it back under my feet.
I hold its pattern, heavy, marked
by soles not just my own.
Textures and smells return years,
a memory becomes a feeling,
a footprint stands out, named.

You’re troubled by my silence,
unseeing where I stand
eyes dimmed, coursing, distant.
I’m still here, but so is everything,
not visiting but layered – sometimes
today is not opaque enough to see;
closure not what it seems.
You can seal a bag, but my rug,
my carpet, rolls on, past and present
curled close, over and over.

2019 © Andie Davidson

It is this

  • Posted on February 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm

It came at first when I was sleeping,
in my dreams I felt it breathing.
To my window while I was cooking, from
the corner of vision would see it snooping.
It would come in like a cat while I was eating,
brush my leg uninvited, for attention.
Leave quietly when I wasn’t looking
until I raised my eyes from reading.
Then it came to my bedroom door
and I could hear it scratching, scratching.

Scary, insistent, prowling, invading,
it is never a ghostly presence.
Far from dead, it is coming to life,
not threatening, it is begging.
I hear it denied, denounced, defended—
so I am not alone in imagining.

Today it was sitting on my sofa.
I asked it to leave and it stared.
It moved with me to the loo,
perched on the bath and waited.
I heard its breath catch as I washed,
felt it tug at my skirt as I dried.
It has not left me all day and I fear night,
as if it might creep in my ear, fill my head.
I don’t want it to become part of me,
I want it to go away, bother another.

Only I don’t wish this on anyone.
This heavy presence, this animus
that we have created in so many ways.
For everything I do brings it closer,
I am learning how it belongs.
I feed it, nurture it, bring it home.

I cannot sleep while it curls on my pillow
where it waits with its stories to tell.
I know them as bad dream tales,
as dark-and-stormy-night pages
that turn and turn without end.
The light is still on and I can see it
waiting for my ear to be close enough.
It tells me there is time to see and hear,
if I want to stroke it, I will understand.

“Ice melts, waters rise, the world burns
yet still men ask the price of oil …”

It is this. 

2020 © Andie Davidson

Kick

  • Posted on July 28, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Clipping behind the hedgerow, hooves
on the metalled road heard by horse
field-bound, lone, looks up, shakes mane
springs to life, snorts, stamps, neighs
and runs, runs, in circles, this way that
leaps and kicks, kicks the air, the space
that defines the division between ridden
and kept and keeps on kicking, neighing
when clipping has long faded, he is not
after all alone, just kept alone, just – kept.

Sometimes I run in circles, sure I have
heard the beat of something familiar
unseen but a rhythm that evokes a sense
of belonging a sense of place of something
making sense, from which I am – removed
and I kick and beat the walls as it fades
fearing too it is nothing, or just the sound
of another, more bidden and taken among
places, persuaded, used and trained, that
the circle I run might be their freedom.

Standing still today we eye each other
in rain across a hundred yards field,
shuffling frustrated hooves weighing
how we cannot greet for this – for what?
For a white ribbon electric fence for a wire
a metal gate and respect not to trespass.
I could climb, he could jump so easily,
if only he knew, if only I dared climb
my own awkwardness of being seen
to muddy my shoes to stroke a nose.

2019 © Andie Davidson

Estuary: black, white, green

  • Posted on July 17, 2019 at 11:47 pm

The spittled olive river is walking
its weed rafts to the sea.
Soon it will be running,
the leisurely dredging swans
becoming sailors, fleet-black paddles
lifted from green to steerboard.

Reeds, still to their throats in bed
strain silt, rise, slow-coated.
Waiters at sharp attention, egrets
shirted white and boat-eyed, are
becoming fishers in the cracks
for the failed retreaters.

At the next turn, tidy coots
will walk among the swans.
Black, nodding suits, railing stilts,
chipping in the emptying gorge
on steady flapping feet
where salt is washed twice daily.

But for now the river is walking,
quiet and still and green. Then
a rare punctuation, sudden plunge
s-bent neck of cormorant rising,
shock wave to the shaggy banks
and mad long splash to climb the air.

Calm is quick to return, as turning
the swans’ state-procession begins.
Prowed with gold the royal line
never admits to following the moon;
it is as if they are taking the stream
by force of their silent pageantry.

2018 © Andie Davidson

These books of ours

  • Posted on July 17, 2019 at 11:34 pm
picture from a book of hours

A reflection on family photo albums left behind You are the mother of my children in the photos with them where I am not – and which I do not have. They still ours these days long since the great divide of all things that pressed images between leaves. Those books of hours testaments of devotion of our middle ages, fully illustrated by the faith once shared. And I? I am part of ‘ours’ post-reformation spared the assembly of you and they and those testaments. 2019 © Andie Davidson