Sunday, August 24, 2008
Pond: a poem from Camper Van Blues (due soon from Salt Publishing)
Up to your thighs in our new garden pond —
or what will be a pond by half past five —
you seem less human, more amphibian.
To make inert black plastic come alive
with forms that creep, crawl, swim and reproduce,
you heave yourself around collapsing sides
with the ingenuity of an Odysseus.
Soil bouncing blindly off your spade like light,
you tack the liner down that’s working loose.
This muddy sluice is all we’ll have tonight.
The after-dinner speech is ‘Stocking Fish’.
Meanwhile, the garden’s a construction site.
It won’t be long before we come to wish
we’d never started this, both unprepared
to excavate so broad and deep a ditch.
You level up. The pond is nearly there,
one thing we can’t divide now if we part:
a permanence whose origins we share;
the leaky moon inside a sinking heart.
First published in Poetry Review
Apologies to those who may have read this poem before when I posted it up last September. I'm off on my annual writing retreat first thing in the morning and have much packing to do.
I shall post up a previously unseen poem on my return, promise!