Our Feet Know

There are wide rivers in this land
still rich with fish, and
beyond, behind, in spite of the
dark ranks of Forestry Commission
profit, beauty in deciduous
ebb and flow, colour and fall,
nakedness before winter.

There are too high-flown crags
impassable, unreachable, un-
scaleable by us - places
our hands can't reach to
strip and chew.   This
wide purple-green waste with
deep eyes of blue

is still covered by an
infallible sky, cloud-filled,
puff-balls of moisture moving
inland from the sea
refreshing barren spaces.
In its thin week-long stretches
still breathes this ragged rock

pierced by metal, crushed concrete,
roads upon which we ride.
We have new beasts now.
It keeps different time - its slow heart
coursing mineral wealth
as cargo - the grooves of its mind
cut deep by glacial memory

of extremes now distant.   It lives
in summer climes, despite us,
with its own wave and move,
growth and spread, our small
communities tiny to its size
taking-over nothing - for nothing
is ours.

Our days are fleeting, glass-blown
things, easily shattered, unlasting.
Our own bone breaks down
to feed those to come - keeps
the globe rich of vein.   There
are places you might tread
you never want to reach again -

places so inhumane, so
inhospitable, they frighten,
and we long for our own
kind, however lacking.   Most
days I think of you - your
modern kist and ancient
stone I wrote upon trying

to hold you in a place
you did not belong.   A machine
takes me home, away from
spirit and its breath breathing
in harshnesses, a brilliant sky,
diamond light, deep water,
the heaving of the heart.

Our lives are geography and
weather more
than we know.   Our bodies fashioned
by the place we bear and grow,
an isthmus with its secrets
indivisible from the land
our feet know.
The Golden Fish
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