We would watch for the bus going past on the lane, know it would stop outside Mitchell’s barn, run out the back gate up the farm track. The pavement of stone flags outside the houses was cracked sunken, unused. The ruts were deep, full of coloured stones, green and blue, not river-smooth, not pebbles, bright and sharp as flints. We’d run and she’d be there, turning into the track ,with her shopping basket and handbag, wearing her white suit with dark blue spot-and-shadow markings, like the breast feathers of a great solitary bird. An osprey maybe Her shoes were dark blue, with laces and tiny holes in the leather. Her hair was a white bob, cheeks apple-round with smiling. I’d get there first, hang onto the shopping bag, peep inside, the deep blue-purple of chocolate bars, and I would smile back, turn my step to hers, walking, still hanging onto the bag, chattering, though that world is silent now. That world is silent, but I remember every green stone, every throb of the starlings’ babbling on the telephone wires, every pulse of that warm, haunted heart.
This was the form Paul Brookes chose last week. The structure of the trimeric is simple, three of the four lines of the first stanza repeated in a cascade, heading each successive stanza. Trimeric poems tend to be short and imagist (as in my first poem), but there’s no reason why they can’t be denser (second poem). I enjoyed this form and will probably use it again.
January, early morning
Night is over, light frozen at grey dawn, a stopped clock, its mechanism rusted.
Light frozen at grey dawn hangs in mist wreaths over frozen puddles,
a stopped clock in a silent room, where ash fills the hearth.
Its mechanism rusted, this year grinds on, drenched in fog.
Turn of the year
The world grinds on its hinges with the rusty creak of rainswept trees, black and dripping with winter, and birds sing to ward against the cold.
With the rusty creak of windswept trees, rain-light ruffles feathers, ships tossed on stormy seas,
black and dripping with winter. Horizons close, veiled in water, endless tracts of grey,
and birds sing to ward against the cold, to spell spring’s return and ease the earth’s rumbling course.