Saturday, February 09, 2008
Soot sunk oak tree, tarred question mark
it had stood
since the last forest burnt, blind old man
surrounded by stumps
still smoking creosote, an unlit tower
scoured and bare
yet proud in its final hours as mad Lear
in his wreath of dead weeds
or Ginsberg’s locomotive sunflower,
peering through red mist
to where sun was,
its last leaf-memory of green,
green things and wild.
This poem was published in Seam poetry magazine last autumn. The new issue of Seam is due out in the next few months (it's published twice yearly) so I'm hoping the editor - also a poet, Anne Berkeley – won't mind too much if I reproduce that poem now on Raw Light.
'Last Oak' was originally intended to form part of a book-length poem sequence based around a quasi-eschatological and environmental theme. That's how I envisaged it during the act of writing, anyway. This link will take you to a previous blog post about the Seam launch last year, by the way, where I discuss that unfinished sequence further.
In the end, of course, only four or five poems from that sequence - provisionally entitled End of Days - were ever written. And of that meagre handful, I imagine that only two will make the cut for Camper Van Blues, my third poetry collection, due out later this year from Salt Publishing.
'Last Oak' is definitely one of them ...