is sweetest at the Tropic of Capricorn, the
colour of lemon chiffon cake, and just as light.
It might begin with a ringing of hands, it might begin
with a single step. It’s capable of taking itself to
the streets. Unblighted by African tulip trees’ bleed,
the palms look as if they’re about to begin
to take flight. Vehicles’ steel appeals to
the atmosphere. We, too, are aerial now. We needn’t breathe
momentarily. Where does it end, where does it begin,
this enlightening thing unfurling its whorls. Even to
rusty furrows it’s inclined to speak.
Subtleties emerge as if soaked in – what-d’you
-call-it? – developer, but slower. Though we know
we look before and after, and pine for what
is not, we alight on the I
of Horsfield’s bushlark widening to We, its love
of day- and night-time melody and mimicry, and I ask you
crave nothing save the song and wing-heeled better
nature as brightness wheels around the mountain now.
Note: ‘we look before and after, and pine for what is not’ is from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘To a Skylark’; ‘you crave nothing save the song’ is from George Meredith’s ‘The Lark Ascending’. The Golden Shovel is a poetic form ‘devised…by Terrance Hayes in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks… The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken often, but not invariably, from a Brooks poem.’ – Don Share, ‘Introduction: The Golden Shovel’, Poetry. In ‘The morning fog (A Golden Shovel after Kate Bush)’, the last words of each line are from the first verse of Kate Bush’s song ‘The Morning Fog’.