Michael Peverett: Six poems from "FOTO"

58. (Sickling the garden)

The hip-high grass, the wineglass bellflowers
toppled, strewn hither and thither. A rake rasps

bouncing on the cellar slopes. They drink their saft
& swish, from the rust-red walls, stray wisps...

59. (Eyes closed in hammock)

The sun lurches, and the ground tilts, the red cottage;
you shove off, and go sleeping on the wing.

Under your eyelids, the day broadens.
Deep in your shadows, how loud the birds sing!

60. (Sawing logs)

Chock. I wipe the saw with a clout of grass,
its hot teeth resiny. Racked in the shed, all mine:

so long may I read and dance, so many winter days!
(But their records go on playing: sap, sweat, rain...)

61. (Washing clothes in the garden)

Plain flowers, children, their tiny tops,
tenderly handled, long gone, long grown out of.

Under a foreign sky, wringing your socks.
For each past, we still carry the useless love.

62. (On the bron - Mum arranging flowers)

You spared a posy and naturally it's obstinate;
the stems huddle, all the worse for the breeze.

Untidy! Your fingers dab, you'd like to plait it.
And then the shape settles - just right - in your eyes.

63. (Mary and me - Holmstagården)

Only us. We shift tables with the sun, and finally
encamp in the cafe lawn, in bowls of clover.

Sitting still, we pivot. The sweeping pine sweeps in reverse.
And now, the building is watching us over its shoulder.