The silence that, for mischief, loves
night screech, fox cry, lonely weeping,
welcomes this cold whisper blowing
residuum, like shallowing
impressions of a nib that moves
to shape a word that leaves the page
a brighter blank, the thought unspelt
that makes the after-image of each pang
of headlights half a mile along
the road to Buteland in the shot white dark
a memory of less and less.
And even less and less will dimple, seeping
to honeycomb, a crust of melt
for Wansbeck, Coquet, and the Aln,
retreating to uncover grass
and blunt, assertive daffodils.
So let the unicorns of blizzard rage
about their business on the Wanney Hills
and write a big word with their icy hooves
that means my garden and returning lawn,
where light and memory can strike a spark
from crocuses like broken glass.
by Peter Bennet (shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize 2008)