Thursday, March 29, 2007

A SWALLOW

by Simon Lappington

 

A swallow stalls, loops from me, swims

up the light but hits glass; scratches

on a thin transparency of existence,

urgent, I pluck it off. The barn is cool,

 

high, beams aloft streaked in a luminous

shit, nests in joints of dried oak

on stone their dry dusts descending. I

hold it, a stilled mote - dun breast band,

 

twin tail spines, white flange of a beak's

rim gaping, thrusting burdening the shell

of my fist; hopeless. Helpless I cast it

out, a joy, a whole pulse into clean air

 

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Simon Lappington is a major contemporary English poet. When this poem was written he was living in a stone cottage in Wales. This work was taken from the book Steve Poleskie, Artflyer published in 1989 by the John Hansard Gallery of the University of Southampton, England, on the occasion of an exhibition of Poleskie's artworks at that museum. The book, which also contains texts by Stephen Foster and Alison Lurie, was printed in a limited edition of 500. Lappington's poem also appears in his collection Legend of True Labor published by Secker and Warburg in 1987.

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