L I t T e R

Back to Leafe home

Back to Litter home

Janet Sutherland

Sodium Lights

you begin to speak another language
guttural with spit

where dreams mechanical or animal
have wolfish teeth

the two legged horse is passing by again
lucid companion

to confusion you live here pointing
with bruised contracted

hands to absent children. Dancing
out of reach

our names - a mantra breathed to
to make us solid

whether we are here or not. A Dali
pocket watch keeps time

A tendency to closure

as each word ends
the lips prepare

hard to resist
the tongue its

touch on the
back of the

you can say
silence not

to understand

having absence
in mind
as if

Tree with fish, bird and bell
(Glasgow 1536)

the hammerman
who wants an oak
that wears a bell
to sinister

adores the robin
raised in gold
the fish that flies
below the tree

this is the best
he says and though
a rose is planted
there instead

he leads us to
that English oak
weathered by storm
but standing still

he leads us to
the robin brave
opening its throat
in winter chill

he leads us to
the silver fish
steadfast in the
roaring rill

under the oak tree
swings the bell
that speaks for love
and constancy

Copyright Janet Sutherland, 2007