Breaking Ground by Jean Gillespie (Lucent Dreaming Issue 10)

Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.

Some days when the water is low you can see the tips
of rooftops glisten under ripples, glimpse fish dart down
dark cobbled lanes, catch shadows searching out light
smears from sooty mouldering terraces.

Some days when the water is low you can see
frilled naked newts clinging to waving weeds
and delicate grasses growing along those ghostly
cloistered ways. You can listen to a choir of larks
rise on trilling notes, a song of buoyed feathers
threaded on light rising spires, an act of faith.

high        higher      highest

Some days when the water is low I think of my
grandfather lying beneath those sparkling waters,
his life force spent spooning earth into little heaps,
anthills of dry brittle extract that rose to become
scaly and monstrous, each spoonful a ragged
earth-tooth, raw and discarded.

bit     by  bit     by  bit

Some days I think of the children who, with me, once
trampled up through the slag, scrambling ankle deep
in the flakes of ore to reach a high point, only to slide
down on bits of old discarded lino with whooping cries
to doleful men who hacked the earth for a living,
down into sunken emptied pockets.

Some days I stand looking at those waters
and think of my grandfather in a cloth cap,
who twisted round too late to see the looseness
of the overhanging rock. Who was born
too early to see the dawn rise golden through
the bullrush, too early to hear the smooth
mellow whoop of the curlew as it settles in the
long meadow grasses.

Buy issue 10 today.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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