Friday, 29 June 2012

Three Poems by Frances Presley


b


burning bush barely burning
barely bush angel flame of fire
behold the bush burned and was
not consumed out of the midst of
the bush called unto her i am that i am

bring them up into land whose
unashamed blush brush sporadic
red rain lost art of plastic wrappers
rarely seen splash of robin red breast
mate silver grey down breadth in the acer

red palmate held against maple
age spots dark cells and white veins
put your hand into your breast come out
leprous as snow come out as flesh do not
go into another land you are here burning

from Alphabet for Alina (Five Seasons Press, 2012 forthcoming)


Caratacus stone 

‘failure is not an option’ 

I

leans sideways
 at an awkward angle
  this is not the way to strain

    gradual ceding
     call it quits
      double or quits

        my double trouble
         character gouged
          smooth mouthed

            leaning tower
             kept leaning
              lean times

                monitored always
                 identify me with N
                  for nepus
               
               

                 

C

                  
                  A

                  
                  R

                 


Ā

                  
                  A




                  C


                 
I

       
        
             
           
     
              
                   chipped off
                    the block
                     pasted back
                      with pale pink gum
               
               

                   



E

                  P

                  U

                  S               
             
           
24 June 2007

II

 ‘The stone is so remote from railways, and the ways of Latinists, that it has hardly ever been seen by an epigraphist’
It is impossible to clearly show the inscription by means of an untouched photograph. So that the sizes and shapes of the letters, and the spacing of the inscription, can be readily seen, they have been outlined at the expense of naturalness
CARĀACI or Caratacus - Welsh national hero of early Roman days, taken in chains to Rome, where, according to Roman historians, he was given his liberty because they were impressed by his fearless bearing
NEPUS = Nepos (Romano-British reading) Sister’s son, descendent, kinsman, son, grandson, nephew
One of the pieces was distinctly inscribed with  
and exactly fitted the fracture immediately preceding the EPVS. The N was cut reversed – a not uncommon error even nowadays
It is to a local hillman, unversed in archaeology, we must turn for the key to the re-discovery of the missing for its jealous protection during many months, and for its fixing to the inscription in the exact position and with commendable skill
Carat – represents the passive participle of the verb, which is in Welsh car-u, to love

from Alfred Vowles ‘The history of the Caratacus stone’ (1939)

How2
("reversed N" should be just integrated in flow of text in part II; but not allowed by Blogger!) 



OCTOBER

ON NORTH HILL


bless test
mess of leaves
wings will not make
                                                    serious
                                                    back pack
                                                    stride
fern returns
leaf crisps
clenched
hear
here

                ~                      ~
break               stop                  wave
make it return
a flick of the wrist
she hasn’t got
yet


            who has not built
            a house

            will now no longer
            will not build

                                                                                no nay never
                                                                                or some version
                                                                                on the march
                                                                                against
                                                                                war


            no more
            builds now
            who has not yet
            who has not built
            yet builds now
            bilds


(this is the dialogue of memory)


bird rattle
sun slats
through dry leaves

like the turning
segments
of glass
at Foreland Point
occulting the optic



                                                                white outriders

                                                                                            over ride the line


from Myne: New and Selected Poems & Prose 1976-2005 (Shearsman, Exeter, 2006)

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