Today's poem is by Rebecca Dunham

Alfoxden: Dorothy Wordsworth, 1798

Always we walk to, a great part of the way.

Wm. & I, hilltop to brook, & the sea

a morning basin full to its very lip. Turnip

greens lively & rough. The world in size

is but a tiny room whose edges we must

walk: Quantock, Holford, Stowey, Kilve.

Deft as I handle slips of plant, I find

of a sudden within me the gift to cluster

my thoughts until they twist, bristled

serpents dense as furze or hazel abloom,

midge-cloud in sunlight, or the oak

thick-feathered by scarlet-lit moss. Half-

dead, the sheep bell beds down for night

in a furrowed coombe's long hollow.

My journal pleases Wm., each day's entry

a small bud & I am glad. Its deckle-

edged leaves seem to me, at times, almost

to rattle between my pinced fingers like

the packets I empty over earth's harrowed

mound. My seed-black script smatters

the page. Leech-gatherer & night-piece

alike fly loose, words lifted & blown

by a wind, to fertilize some other's ground.

Copyright © 2009 Rebecca Dunham All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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