The Cold Tap Sings

the p-word

Tag: Slate

TODAY

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Today

up Wessenden the goblinesque
laughter of a grouse rang
out across the moors
through rufous
bracken
then echoed &
reechoed off the slate
of the wind-wracked fells
up there ‘where snipe work late’

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THREE POEMS IN THE FORM OF A CAIRN

photo: línus hrafnkell línusson

photo: línus hrafnkell línusson

Iceland’s landscape is populated by small towers of stones known as cairns. Visible from miles around, they serve as waymarkers for travellers. But they also serve as memorials for the dead, and it’s hard to explain why they’re so moving. Perhaps it’s their torso-like shape.

I decided to emulate this shape as a poetic form. It only works if the poem is short, I find, so I’ll treat you to a collection of three.

***

Three Poems in the Form of a Cairn

Scoria

red
frothy
textures

Slate

dark
shard
chiselled

Chalk

not
like
cheese

***

Read more on Iceland here, and read a poem which mimics the shape of waves breaking here.