Thursday, 24 January 2013

An Approximation

The second poem with a shiny sixpence all of its own is called 'An Approximation' and it's just been highly commended in the 2012 Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition.  It too will be published in the competition anthology 'tentatively entitled' 'The Genesis of Falcon and Other Winners'. 




Again, the desire to write this poem was knocking around for a long long time.  I adore the visionary artist and poet William Blake.  In particular, I am fascinated by a celebrated episode in his childhood.  I also knew I wanted to write a poem that ended with the words 'angels on Peckham Rye'.  I just needed a way into it, and eventually I found it.  





An Approximation

'Sauntering along,
the boy looks up and sees a tree filled with angels,
bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars'
                        from 'The Life of William Blake' by Alexander Gilchrist

Oh, there've been hints, intimations.
Cumbrous rustlings in twigs. A silvery
glister that might have been
more substantial than moonlight.

I've noticed drifts of feathers falling
from viridian fan-vaulting, 
heard gears creak
as flight machinery unfurls.

One morning
while I was out walking
I heard a lime at the roadside singing
It's a beautiful day.

OK, it wasn't the tree.
It wasn't an airy deity either
just dangling legs in scruffy jeans
and unlaced trainers.

I don't suppose
I'll ever witness an oak
list under a cargo 
of seraphim

yet late autumn days
out on the Levels
mistletoed trees in orchards flutter
star-scattered wings,

and as countless cacophonous voices fly
I might dream
an approximation of angels
on Peckham Rye.  



© Deborah Harvey 2012, 2013




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