Poems by Abegail Morley (UK)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 50
I’m rested like old Cambric cloth,
limp binding thread, I smell of the dank edge of autumn.
I’ve crawled from a thick wood’s murk at 3a.m.,
waited for the dawn chorus to inhale, scaled
the shoulder blades of pine trees in second hand
shoes. I’ve unpricked my ears to vixen,
unknelt before a trunk, unhasped a word
from my ear. I have learnt how to undo
in a perfect order.
She says a drop of blood is an unbroken sun,
twists her bracelet between fingers,
I wonder how the sun sees her,
a fledgling lost in the landscape,
or something asleep,
pullulated, a thought that
hasn’t yet raised its hackles
or objected to the conversation.
He tells me not to loosen my hair,
to wear it as if it’s light escaping nets
splaying on sea’s soft thighs,
gleaming on a neap tide. He says
to poke it with hooks till it’s stacked
upright, tangled like dabberlocks, so fish
squeeze their bodies between strands,
ease their abdomens through,
sift my mind, fins washing flesh.
I wonder if I’ll return, proud hair
toppling from pins’ rib, fronds doused
by wave’s stubborn tongue.
I see his lips twist in a Kirby-grip grin,
consider how sometimes things end
painfully like hair ripped from its roots,
skin sloughed at the shoreline.
Abegail Morley’s debut collection, How to Pour Madness into a Teacup (Cinnamon) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize Best First Collection. Her collections, Snow Child and an ekphrastic collection based on the work of the German satirical painter, George Grosz, Eva and George: Sketches in Pen and Brush are published by Pindrop Press. She collaborated with artist Karen Dennison on The Memory of Water (Indigo Dreams Publishing) based on a residency at Scotney Castle. She was Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2015 and Poet in Residence at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Kent 2015-2016. Abegail is a co-founder of EKPHRASIS commissioning poets for ekphrasitc events, most recently at The Royal Academy of Arts and the British Library. Her website is The Poetry Shed: www.abegailmorleywordpress.com
Image: "Fishing nets" by T. Graham.