Today's poem is by Claire Askew


Everywhere you look is light
so exquisite it hurts. Light
off the taffeta sea, the brief white
rips of wake and surf; light
frosting the bleached houses' sides
wedding-cake perfect; light
in the wires, in the cut pot roofs, light
that's one hundred per cent proof. White-
washed island carefully dressed in light,
bridal; hung with thick sheets of light
like honeycombs, like dress shirts lightly
starched and hung to dry. Yachts in the bite
of the port, marshmallow white,
confettiing armfuls of chopped light
out into water clear and keen as ice.
And over the flat-topped hill as night
comes flirting on, the island saves its great lightshow
for last. Ancient, many-headed light
that warms the kilns of myth: clay red, bright
pink, streaked ochre fingering the cloth of sky,
the undersides of all the thin white
clouds turned iris, mauve. And then the fine
pale strings of windows flared like Christmas lights
along the port; yachts flicker and go out, and high
across the strait the pinprick warning lights
flick one by one along the radar masts. Tonight,
insomniac in unfamiliar heat, I'll write
under the moth-bothered kitchen light,
this is the life. Mine is the lightest, easiest life.

Copyright © 2016 Claire Askew All rights reserved
from This changes things
Bloodaxe Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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