There is insolence in the deadbeat grass
the dry rosettes of thistle,
bramble runners thick as rhubarb
and next door’s cat with its fuck-off eyes
marking the door, marking time
as the minutes settle into hours
set into days like some creeping black lava
across your path
the way you thought you’d go but can’t.
Down by the gate a knotted elder
mined by woodlice spills a meal of phloem
across the wall, shawling cobwebs
in its hollows.
The blackbird's long gone.
We peel and cut twigs into whistles,
walk through the hot grass,
the terrible silence.
Each way you turn there are ghosts
of gone-days, days you sidestepped,
frames of old film, the flicker and bobble
of celluloid dreams.
The heat is unbearable.
We sit on the hill, blow those white flutes,
call the clouds, call the night,
all the old bones turning in the soil.