Not all the poetry in my new collection is about the sea and coast, some of it is about woods, moss, lichen, and ..... transformation.
This poem appeared on my blog a few years ago when it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Now, it's a key poem in my latest book, 'Before we Breathe'. I'm pleased at last to see a copy of the book resting on the moss in the place that inspired many of the poems that appear in it.
A tiny sip of lichen slips
and creeps slow towards her wrist.
from the purlicue web,
epidermis writhes into green
between the index and the next finger.
Moss extends over the backs of her hands,
a soft velvet caress
across her desiccated skin.
Anchored by rhizoids
this slithering layer
seeps out through pores,
spreads like verdigris –
a tight-fitting glove.
Around hair roots
cerotodon begins, small and tight,
and soon she is crowned
with a mass of fire –
red and fertile in spots of light;
orange embers glow under the forest canopy.
Liverwort breeds in the fossae above her clavicle
and tracks towards marchantia in the jugular notch.
Below, cladonia sprout their tiny
umbrella organs across her cleavage.
Mood moss, wispy while dry
is verdant and lush when moist
between her legs.
Her nails gleam
with gloss from the thorax of bluebottle.
Her black eyes
glisten, reflect the green sheen
of a magpie’s nape.
Wet leaves around her grow cold,
slick in the shade. An odour of rot
from rank weeds touches the ends
of her olfactory nerves.
Her mouth waters.
out of the Earth
as something else.
*Copies of Before we Breathe are available direct from me. £8 plus postage. Email for order info: email@example.com