Shadows graze the small island
and the small heads of horses
bending into the grassy slope;
browns perforated by browns
and loose camouflage
of oystershell and stone.
Horse and shadow move
the way wind and lightfall
come together and spill apart;
these hills are solitary, ink-flushed:
the sky’s sheet ruddy with thumb-
prints of blood-orange and edelweiss.
Sun-flames crumble the laneway,
cinder grey ochres swift
and swarm and easily die out.
The river is stilled, careful to cast
no shadow; mooncalm and soundless
as underwater stone.
The stream is almost
hidden by wood; wind-tattered
pages of a book.
And in its sorrow
it sheds it tears.
Night is an old song.
The fire in Scurmore blows sideways.
Splintered by rain, fistfuls of blue
alight to lapse midair, unsodden
cloudbanks obscure the moon,
it’s star-hazed and damp as smoke.
The gentle herd of beasts
that were here an hour ago
has moved cautiously to the river’s bank.
I sense their quiet
beyond the fire that teems
and move to drink where they drink.
December fields skirl seeds,
pewter and glass kinds. Frost tips
the mountains cap and foot.
Days pass without a single trace
of blue; there are salmon dreaming
deep beneath the Moy.