Thursday, 8 October 2015

A Poem For National Poetry Day 2015

It's National Poetry Day today and the theme is 'light', so naturally I've chosen to post a poem about death and foxes, which has just been published in Hailing Foxes, the beguiling new anthology of illustrated poems newly published by Dru Marland of Gert Macky press.  Except that it's about light also.



 A few months after he died, a literary wake was held for Seamus Heaney in Festival Hall, London. Late that night, on the final leg of the journey home, I had an extraordinary encounter. 

Heaney’s Wake

All year 
from winter to autumn I see them 
most evenings  

on high streets, down side-roads
slipping through hedges
under the bunting of parked cars,
charcoal running stitches 
hemming the edge of dark.  In April 
vixens trail their kits 
                                       like knots 
                                                           in hankies

Come September 
   flashes of amber – intermittent –  
a youngster, trapped by headlights 
           panics on Southmead Road
                                     spins in indecision, 
     his current short-circuiting, every nerve and instinct                
                                                   scrambled

After the wake
and the long drive back,
two miles from home and my bed
the stupor in my head gives way to quick 
       anticipation  

a dog-fox on Horfield Common 
in Belisha beacon glare 
waits for me to brake, trots over the crossing 
with a twitch of his white-tipped tail. If I could
touch his fur, sparks would 
       jump and crackle  
    
my spirits kindled by this sight, 
this flaring matchstick 
       to hold against the night



©Deborah Harvey 2015



My next poetry collection, Breadcrumbs, is due to be published by Indigo Dreams in 2016. This poem isn't in it. 

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