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Stanley Wilkin Dec 2018
Silently, shadowed by night,
Its eyes shining like tears,
It pads through the desolated undergrowth
Listening for sounds in the grass
The tripping of feet, the scampering
Crunch of paws. Lithely stepping
Through the trees, a mile further on
The fox sniffs the air. The stubbled moon
Flings down its steel-like shafts
Of thin even light, stabbing through
The gloom.

The stream flows around the dying plants
Breaking the bank. The River Vole slides down
Into the labouring water, older than the
Landscape it bites through, and it pounces
Grabbing the voles neck in its maw,
Ripping the flesh apart. The cat throws
It into the air, catching it again,
Its teeth rending off flesh. It pads back into the dark.

Nose delving into the air , the fox sniffs blood.
It turns towards the water
Breaking the bank, turns towards
Its slow sibilant sound, muzzle aloft
As if drawn upward by slithers of string,
The playful moon moving smoothly with the clouds.
The cat is shaken by its presence.
The grouse gabble in their fear.

The fox pounces, caught in the air
Floating as if in a snapshot
Held there by silvery light,
It lands with untroubled finesse
As the cat screams.
The stream blanches, the moon seems smug,
The night closes as the fox eats.
Stanley Wilkin Oct 2018
Dive bombers, black wings spread,
satanic angels: Two crows attacked another
broken on the long grass,
consumed by grappling weeds,
unable to fly and imprisoned within
the soft melding soil as if caught
nesting; I watched from afar; a spectator at an accident
unwilling to intervene.
Darting beak, defending itself with desperate
protests: they swooped again and again-
stukas in the old war, squarking demonically
wings flapping like black pistons geared up for death-
again and again they drilled into the world of men
boring down until
in the fading light, head bowed,
the damaged crow surrendered
and vomitted out its last stored-up breath,
shining ebony slashed, in a flurry
of dangling flesh, its life hacked away-blood
dripping from its bill-
hacked away in the cold air,
its brothers, like brothers everywhere,
gorging on its flesh.

By then, I had had enough,
I refused to watch anymore. The bird
a meal for its own kind,
soon just scattered feathers
repositioning the light.
Its darkness, once a threat,
with its suggestion of forboding
now merely signalling innocence,
the victim of misrepresentation.
I left a scene that did not truly
embrace reflection, an unusual
carnival of life and death in a city
that rejected both.
Stanley Wilkin Sep 2018
Her beauty rests on her
Like lavender in the hand
Like smiles from a baby
Like heat from the sun:
It meets her smile with a kiss
And drops glistening light in her eyes:
Her beauty greets admiration with a glance
And settles gently like clear water,
In a rippling pool edged with drifting beams,
Her black hair burnished with fire.
Her beauty surrendering to the shackled
Gaze of my surrendered sight.
Stanley Wilkin Aug 2018
Cool, calm and comforting
arising darkly from the hill
cool, calm, comforting
it flows there still.

By the aspen
by the shrunken sedge
by the aspen
by the bracken on the window ledge,

Bird and scurrilous badger
over muddy field
bird and badger
where foxgloves yield

scents like rashes
into the sun filled air
scents like rashes
where the twitchy rabbits stare

the sky yawns towards sunset
the lounging clouds fill
the sky yawns towards sunset
where the arched light will-

chaffinch peeks above
elm branch and bough
chaffinch peeks above
in solitude now.
Stanley Wilkin Aug 2018
Although I strut like a bright plumed bird
I do not choose-
As a man, I am chosen.
I noted your face first I thought
but it was you who
selected mine. You
who arranged our first well-considered
copulation, who washed and aired
the sheets two days before-
You who arranged the hour.
I who complied.
Stanley Wilkin Aug 2018
In troubled light the old man sat
turning the pages of a darkened book
while on the grass lay his Summer hat
occasionally splashed by a strumming brook;
her lovely face was drawn there
in smooth, fluid lines
echoing her dark gleaming hair
the coal black hue of coal black mines;
his sighs were those of empty years
his sadness that of endless regret,
his wrinkled eyes were calloused tears
where death had already set.
The portrait complete he began another
of a memory, a distant love,
an enduring wish, a long departed lover
packed away with his clouded brain's crippled stuff.
Stanley Wilkin Aug 2018
I loved you for a moment, then
that moment was gone-
where once was life again,
now there is none.

I should have held on
to the flicker of light
that briefly flared like winter sun
passionate and bright.

I should have held onto your hand
in case I strayed
but I couldn't then understand
the price to be paid.

I couldn't understand that love
is not necessarily scheduled to arrive,
not stapled to a plan, that kind of stuff,
not an adjunct to being alive.

I knew only not to renew,
something I casually dispensed with;
I know when something is through,
when remembered with grief-

I said goodbye to what might have been
to quiet walks, caresses and days in bed,
I said goodbye to a beautiful thing
half remembered, once alive, full of wonder, now dead.
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