I have been to the woods at night
when Fomalhaut is rising, and
the Moon is new.
And I have seen
the column there, which neither rusts
nor weathers, though whose raised
inscription has been strangely
hacked and melted, scarcely legible.
I have heard the melody that’s borne on winds
that rush and shake the house until I think
it’s bound to crash around my head,
and yet the trees outside don’t stir.
The harmonies entwine shrill, greasy pipes
with microtonal strings,
and modulate from sweet to menacing
to something that’s beyond my wit
Ululations burst from throats
that are not clearly beasts’ yet
not completely human either--
both at once, and neither.
Now at last I walk upon the winds
to all the hidden places of the world,
and soon shall venture out to other worlds,
though not by my volition;
I am captive,
carried where He wills, and finally
I know I shall be dropped, no longer heeded,
falling from an empty sky, half frozen,
either dead or dying,
in my pockets eerie
souvenirs from who knows where.
And in the city street or open field or motorway
that breaks my fall,
no-one will understand.
Peter J. King was born and brought up in Boston, Lincolnshire. Active on the London poetry scene in the 1970s as writer, performer, publisher, and editor, he returned to poetry in 2013 after a long absence, and has since been widely published in magazines and anthologies. He also translates poetry, mainly from modern Greek (with Andrea Christofidou) and German, writes short prose, and paints. His currently available collections are Adding Colours to the Chameleon (Wisdom’s Bottom Press) and All What Larkin (Albion Beatnik Press); his booklet Ghost Webs is due out from The Calliope Script later this year. Web site: https://wisdomsbottompress.wordpress.com.