New poem: pentimento and palimpsest

Pentimento & palimpsest

Need alters how I see things
To smother dullness under the hot metal
of discovery
To give it an edge! Ken this
and the hard slap of wave and sail –
the pause before the engagement

I am the old woman who sings
flushed but calm enough

To force the flatness of a bygone age
up and up in brilliant knotted folds
an origami statue, now
perhaps an ornithopter or an owl

The lines reform

The poem is a queue

It is a brief piece of logic tilted against
the pressing and persistent is of essence

The red of the horse harness
the gold of the headdress
all will be re-sown, re-shown, cut
carefully and edited, my ancestors’ bones
are reclaimed
tamped back into the ground

to grow fruit trees and grandchildren

Seas die and flint is born

Flint is knapped and trees are felled

Islands die and people take to boats

Boats sink and brave souls raid the wreck

It all is written over in the end
Earth, sky and water queue for the last word