Hawk

Nothing owns the air like this hawk
Before this here kill. He commands the air
Like a sovereign would a subject.
The cloud hunter, outstretched

Feathered fingers holding back rotations
As he waits for the guillotine moment –
No thunderclap; an ominous cloud
Of silhouette congealing above.

Carefully hung from the sky,
Blowing in the breeze like washing.
This is his birthright,
Honed by a million egg-cracks.

A hovering executioner.
A sprawling of God.
Steady as a surgeon’s hand,
Shadowing death like a drone.

He surveys his surroundings,
Readies his eye like a strongman’s muscle,
And prepares to conclude a life
And roll away the world in revolutions.

He stalls the perfect kill.
The evening alive with anticipation.
Heavens breathe in.
Seconds pass like tremors

While he toys with us all,
Bobbing and brooding
On the sky’s surface like oil –
A black buoy.

He holds my gaze like prey,
Ricochets against the wind
Like the swing of a hammer,
And then plummets only to make the skyline fall.


This poem recently arose after travelling through France when, stood by the car during a petrol pit-stop, I saw a bird of prey (I believe it was a hawk, although I’m not completely sure) seemingly levitating out above a field in the near-distance while on a hunt. It was quite something: motionless. It could have been hung from the clouds. It was probably quite an ordinary sight, however the image of that bird, stuck on the sky, also stuck with me – following me over the next few days like the predator that it was.

Consequently, in this poem I tried to capture the suspense in that moment, the tension in that air of sky, the metaphors that lurked within, and the power of that hawk as it controlled the air – becoming my own Hughes hawk.

Enjoy the poetry, and don’t forget to like and follow for more new poetry every Friday.

Luca

Advertisements

Our Winter

That winter looked too good on you.
It adored you, like a mother –
Birth certificate confusion.

The summer was almost obvious.
Winter was better. Lurking.
You could camouflage in the cold.

But it was also something more profound:
Months followed you, mirroring.
The skies seemed to shiver.

A world hiding in hibernation
While I watched your cheeks blister;
Dimpled red apples, licked by frost.

The tarmac crunched like rubble underfoot
As you spun away, plucking out the air
With the premonition of blossom

Concealed somewhere deep in your smile.
You knew the eventuality of change
And I opened each day like a gift.

God. You were gut-punch beautiful.
In the devotion of those short, dark days
Nothing could stop you.

But like the snow, tumbling
Down altitude’s umbilical cord,
It all soon would be fallen.

River Hymns

That evening was a special place,
Carried to me by the river. I hung
My feet in the water like fish hooks
And let the sun writhe overhead, turning

The riverbank the dappled colour
Of late July and the underside of leaves.
Heat blared on from the apex of the day,
Continuing to break records like twigs,
And so, the city stood still; an open oven.

But I had my transient oasis,
Caesarean cut through a concrete belly.
I had founded an emptiness, like Columbus,
And declared it all mine.

Leaning back, I was content as a lion’s roar.
No phone. No pen. Just my wet soles
And an orchestra of crickets and birdcalls.

The church bells tolled, soft and hourly,
Telling Time about the clandestine
In sporadic pulsars. Darker, water flowed
Towards entropy and sunset.

Light on the surface; the debris of day.
Twisting past, swerving wild through earth,
The river wrestled with its current like a vein
Of beauty inside the genius of madmen.

It was rare. A postcard perfect moment.
I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to change.
And so I repeated some lines like mantras
To prolong the mirage that poured past
As though lost and happy in a labyrinth.


Sorry for the brief hiatus, I’m currently enjoying my last couple of weeks in Italy at the family home in the Umbrian hills; it’s lovely, but also like a home for recovering addicts: no phone, no internet, no contact with the world outside the village walls. A good place for trying to capture some semblance of the Sublime and bygone eras, however. Enjoy the poetry.

You Sleep Between the Sighs and the Sunrise

You sleep between the sighs and the sunrise.
Scratch marks running down your back like train tracks,
Chasing the curvature of your pale spine
And the memories of moans in the black.
You wake each day with fresh finger traces;
Repeatedly healed in the night until new.
Different, distant. Slowly, you are time-changed –
A concertina of hands holding you.

But not mine. Meanwhile I stitch the remnants
Of what is left in the depths of my dreams;
Wearing your aftershocks as a pendent,
Oscillating wildly between extremes.
The doctors would call my love a crisis.
My lips condense heartbreak into silence.

Voices

I want dull, full-fat vowels
And words like blunt fucking hammers.
I want to hit you about the eyes
With a broad Yorkshire birth-twang
And let it resound like a flat vow
Around the inside of your head.

Nothing refined or polished.
I want real. I want earthy.
Not planned hendecasyllables
Or genome-mapped love sonnets –
Give me shaman-muttered rituals
And a world with a periphery.

But the acid-wash of BBC RP
Modernity clings to me like wet denim.
I hear myself slowly moulded
By the coca-colonisation
That restrains my conversation
And supresses a guttural tongue;
The inexorable magnet-pull
Of the next wet rung of the ladder.

So I grasp for my Northern drawl
And find my voice airlocked
Dolled-up, maimed and cut-glass
When I want simple and cut grass.
My identity drummed down, beaten back
Vague, beige, imprecise, unmoored;
A guiding, heavy hand on my shoulder
Like a touch of gentrifying plague.

However, the child-sounds are still there
Like hidden birthmarks.
A lurking bloodline moor-wolf
Waiting to be found, nurtured
And finally drag me back down
To the autochthonous, muddy roots;

To urban grey, cultural downplay
The howling wail of a sectioned city
Sanguine heather, tobacco grass
Crumpled-paper hills buckled at the knees,
Sighing ice-white vein streams.
But now, this is all at my feet in a mongrel heap
Of decaying Viking grunts and growls. Fuck,

Inject them back in, give me origins
In my throat, thudding like a jugular
And caustic verbs of errant sparks
To burn down poems like dry wooden shacks
With my pyromaniac pen and knuckle cracks.

Love, love, love
Come, let’s step back together –
Just to look, watch, bask
With our charcoaled hands like iconoclasts
As the house we built is engulfed
With licks of tongue-fire.
Let it all burn in a bonfire
Until there is nothing left but sulphur
And the stone heart on the pyre.

Smell the smoke. Hear the wet dirt vocals.
Feel the charred, ancestral gasps of locals
And the low groan of forgotten gods.
Here I am. Hear – I am
With you, too. I didn’t do it alone.
You are with me like an accomplice;
It falls only because you give it sound.

You see, we need to strip it down
Until we have flayed the flesh pink
And hit granite.
Each page a flint, rocky outcrop
And each poem rediscovered bones,
Architectural bones,
Ajar like a skull’s open-mouth jaw.

This is a reclamation.
And then, when the fire-fallowed lines
Have plunged down like mines
Reaching for something pure,
In the flickering of ash and cinders
We can at last gaze at the smouldering
Words, ripe with original sin and true-raw.