Poetry from a Hobo


Annabelle Obscura wears a widow’s bun
Knotted ‘round a hook of whale bone
That her young Captain had
Carved with the marks of saints
In a peculiar kind of Braille 
That felt like the lost promises
Of a forgotten summer land
Her fingers leave red marks
Like the phases of the moon 
When she holds too tight
Harpoons crossed around her eyes 
Long days are strangely round
Chrysanthemums are for the dead
I live somewhere in the houses of your face 
– That is a gull-like memory
Of course, I feel sorry for the beast
Its singing heart all piercéd through
But how deep it sang!
To offer bones so few
To light a light
While I wait
Turning empty cards
In a fading window


Solemn Grace breaks Monday morning dishes
In a symphony of final straws and camel backs
Scraped plates make a feast (she says)
For monsters at the corner of the drive
Where the cement in jigsaw pieces
Crooked with the pulverising weight
Of hard as spite hydraulic tongues 
From this once smoothed surface, breach
The ceremonious drumming basso voice 
Of tossed and upended bins
Not quite divine
Nevertheless, a calendar of sorts
Perhaps not so majestic
As solstice dolmen shadows
But still, in the aftermathing silence
In two halves
I am lambent before my father’s eyes


I wonder where Judas got the ladder
If he stole it from the olive grove
If that were the greater sin 
Or if he clambered up the tree
The warmth and grit of bark
In rough crossed hands a kind of love
Remembering when he was young
Seeing twined the serpent and the sunset
Short of breath, counting his delights
Imagining a kind of freedom 
Beyond the leaves of day’s constraint
In the divide of irreducible evening
How the demand of this betrayal 
Served the waning light


In autumn we have iced-creams
And count the colours of the sea
Russet, bottle green
Contrabasso and viridian 
Though a noisy wind scrapes at the sand
In our hands the clouds grow high
Crowns and bellies strawberry and silver
Watching from the holes between the leaves
They don’t melt away, but flee
Still half afraid
Not far behind, summer is the savage in the child
We adjust the depth-of-cut
Of broad-brimmed hats and lawnmowers 
The rain-wet grass winter blind
Drunk on aldehydes and warnings
Wondering at the stains
Of sudden fallen evening


In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes
Autumn brings you back in the ache of burning leaves 
I brought whispers for your skin and daisies for your hair

In knotted threads and twined, without end or crown or throne
But this bed of cautious roses and dully gleaming stones
In the fields the foxes watch with yellow eyes

Can I hold you for a moment in a mask of sepia?
Before it falls from my hand to a soughing wind
I brought whispers for your skin, and daisies for your hair

I think, perhaps, you were never really here
But hear again your soft-caught vixen cry
In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes

How they approached, with equal parts temerity and care
To tremble at your outstretched hand
I brought whispers for your skin, and daisies for your hair

So strange, that they have come
Here again to say goodbye 
In the fields, the foxes watch with yellow eyes
I brought whispers for your skin, and a crown of daisies

For your hair

If you likes C S Hughes you will also like Carla Antonio

Find The Book Of Bird & Bear by C S Hughes at The Book Depository

About the contributor

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