29 September 2016

Poem: The Cliff

The Cliff
(after Anselm Kiefer)

I make a lexicon       of things that can be        white

         linen             lace        sea foam           face

but these     small dresses      nightshirts   doll-sized robes
       are spattered               grey     and        maculate

stone ghosts of birds            snagged       on a wall of ash

I wonder                 how they           were stitched

smock       shirr         pick         cross               feather

        but it’s                   impossible             to tell

their seams           have rotted               in the spray

I think      how they once were cut     from patterns

        facing    yoke    placket     pocket        welt

but the waves   have flung      this flock of empty children
         against                           a squalling bluff     

all memory of making                           has been lost

Above the cliff  the sky            is cracked like mud

I make a lexicon of things     that are        unravelled


Sally Douglas

'The Cliff' was a prizewinner in the 2015 Exeter Poetry Festival Competition, and was originally published in the Festival pamphlet, Threads.

No comments:

Post a Comment