Shall We Dance?
Dew almost frost. It’s the heeltap
of summer, October’s pourriture,
and drunken bumblebees are plunged
head down in buddleia nectar,
stuck to the narrow goblets, trembling
or sometimes tumbled to the yellow
of aftermath, helpless, signalling
prayers with a hooky leg.
What shall we do about the mess?
Supposing you were to pick this last
buttonhole of blowsy Albertine,
it would shed its ruffles. Reds
of the season are liverish,
apricots blotchy, pinks insipid
and no rhythm among the greens.
Sun looks bloodless, serving
at the final banquet (remember
ancient waiters at the Deux Magots?)
A few small flies still reel
among the diagonals of light
where leaves leak like inverted plops
of air from goldmouth fishes,
and there isn’t a bird, not one
whose voice is not derelict; so, light
a lucky match among the trash,
and watch how sap still forces
bubbles out of a chopped branch.
from Caliban Dancing (Shoestring Press, 2011), © Meg Peacocke 2011, used by permission of the author