Nancy: Villages rise one after another out of the forest and pass away again to forest or shore. Graveyards on the hillsides – history and memory caught in black and white light.
Frozen In Frames Of Light
Late afternoon. Freeze.
A slant of light. Freeze.
Hills, fixed in an angle of repose. Replicate.
Mile one hundred nine.
Flick, flick, flick. Three stones, white,
a family in their own fields. Another.
And a town. Long light flat, flash,
men, women, children, granite, some
pride in death. Some stone from away.
Road. Bridge. Island. Bridge.
Which town had the iron fence, the old stones
falling down, the light caught
in the robes Grief wore, a few new leaves
on the ivy?
On this road this is no one hill,
only hill beyond hill beyond hill, and
the dead, gathered together beyond time, and
their stones, under trees, by the bays,
frozen in frames of light.
Alan: There’s a point each year when gardening comes down to simple orneriness and habit.
In the low corner of the garden,
the poorest drained, weediest place,
I put my back to the wind,
hunker down, start pulling.
Witch grass – mullein – dandelion – clover –
I scratch at the crust, tug,
thinking how hens must feel in the fall
and why they stop laying.
For this is the end of November,
the sun is caged in the empty trees
and only the lack of rain
keeps the ground from clapping tight.
Which is why I cannot resist
bending to scratch the surface of next spring’s chores,
stealing the green before winter does,
knowing how greedy I’ll be for the sign of even a weed, come March.