David Butler

Watcher & Revolutionary

David Butler

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              i.m my mother

I see you by the window,

ghosted in the pane over

a garden coarse with winter

fabric: khaki  and hessian.

Beneath the gloomy leylandii,

the rowan, stripped of reds now.

There are starlings stabbing at

the water-heavy lawn,

rifling the blackened leaves

under the judas tree.

You ignore their racket. 

Your eye is fixed here, where

seed hangs in fat gourds

to lure the liveried finches,

the coal-tits, a robin

round as a bauble;

and every visitor

welcome as a mummer

tumbling through your

own relentless winter.


The year closes in on a winter palette,

daubs the fields in motley: ochres; umbers;

burnt sienna. Piebald greens are subdued;

gold-leaf, stripped from wind-torn trees,

tarnishes amidst rust and russet.

Only the stubborn hedgerows cling

to shivering yellows; to a bloodline of berries.

November has sloughed off its dead skin.

Over the pavements, an invasion

of rus in urbe :wind-snakes twist

in intricate braids, quick and brazen

as the dance of a harlequinade.

David Butler

David Butler's inaugural collection Via Crucis was published by Doghouse in 2011, while his second collection All the Barbaric Glass has been accepted for publication at Doire Press. He is currently working on a poem sequence as a Per Cent Literary Arts Commission for Blackrock Library.