Poetry

The morning fog (A Golden Shovel after Kate Bush)

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’.

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