Today's poet is Rachael Clyne, who lives in Glastonbury. Her prizewinning collection, Singing at the Bone Tree, (Indigo Dreams) is about nature and the wild self. Anthologies: The Very Best of 52, Book of Love and Loss, Poems for a Liminal Age. Magazines: Poetry Space, Reach, Tears in the Fence, Fat Damsel, Interpreters House.
I enjoy Rachael's elision of the wild and the domestic in much of her published work.
Deserted houses hold their abandonment, like aged spinsters waiting for a carer to breeze in with small chat, briskly raise a smile, then with swift wipe of flannel, steer her charge too early to bed. Sometimes they hang in rows like bats, swop gossip in the dark, beyond human hearing. Houses have anecdotes that need telling, ailments that need tending.
They are social creatures, despite the secrets they guard behind walls. Other times houses are hungry, rattle cutlery against double-glazing, venetian blinds. Beware the famished intent of a 1950’s semi, its penchant for coronation chicken, stair rods, prawn cocktail and blancmange. Terraced houses desire parquet, caviar and pâté, chomp at the bit for a slice of cinnamon toast, while those in grandiose crescents long for plain fare: rag-rugs, egg n chips, mushy peas, baked beans.
They possess no can openers but rely on residents to provide. I once met a dairy-intolerant vicarage with a taste for sardines. Most of all they crave the flesh of human to roll around the tongue and swallow whole. They like to hoard them, stuff them, digest slowly over long periods then regurgitate. Houses often compete to see how far they can spit them out.
© Rachael Clyne previously published in Grievous Angel
When You are Gone
I will find you in the stars’ cradle, your mouth-fur stilled. Your long slow fade into transparency. Your no longer tiptoe, tightrope walk, one paw in front of the other placed with careful attention, kicking each back foot, as if to shake off dew from the water you licked. Outside, the milk-bowl moon searches the grass for you. The hollow of your bed is silent, tries to gather your warm scent into its folds. Those pheromone molecules, each day, drift to join their maker, mingle with the ordinary, until vanished into a thicker air.
© Rachael Clyne previously published in Domestic Cherry