Toast to the Spring
Black fangs to the east, badlands to the west,
the world beyond — glaciers, jungles, dunes and meadows —
and home, the garden and the spinney.
Lemon seed, a splash of you. A toast.
A thousand years in limestone prison.
A minute in the sunshine, drowned in the ocean.
Burning bodies, old men pray.
a wave halfbroken frozen
smashed egg to egg blunt
knifeedge girder bare legs
ankle skin blue vessels bone
rock hand in crack make fist
boot in crack twist pull on
next boot next fist slap to lip
swimming pool exit lip to hip
lock elbows left boot by left hand
rock over stand headland
to headland sea greygreen
corrugated eggs in froth black weed
huge blocks housesized downclimb
cave tapered to black red eggs in roof
like scalped heads stickywet on hands
and knees shells cuttlebone gas can
buckled barnacled stuck length
of frayed rope anemones syrup
cherries egg to egg to cliff
rock gully crumbly chimney
back wedged knees to chest
palms push shoulders shrug
inch up the top thin soil
clumped grass nothing firm to grab
elbow over lip shoulder turn on chest
worm on belly seal leg up
dig boot tip in soil stand breathe
sea bluegrey flecked
headland to headland cove
to cove to cove waveformed
Image credit: Sam Wilson Fletcher, Untitled, backlit watercolour on paper, 2019
This is part of RHYTHM, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring rhythm as individual and collective, as poetic and biological, and the ways that rhythm dictates life. RHYTHM is conceived and edited by Rachel Goldblatt.