TWO POEMS – Patrick Landy

Photo by Niv Singer on Unsplash


The brook runs through the barn. There’s a small clutch of lilac
still fastened to the door. You find the place you were looking for
by straying from the route. Return and depart, free the blackbird
from your coat. This is one of several accidents foretold by a stranger,
an image of the moon as it flits behind the trees. The moon itself
has been gone since October. The disk was never entirely whole
to begin with. Each day began with dust in the air, each night
with intentions that would sometimes be fulfilled. The world
felt minute enough to keep inside your hand. Stars came loose,
were found scattered over pastures. The symptoms of their fading
can only be seen in retrospect. A death without sound,
no need for a grave. Until then, you’re here now,
waiting with figures made of earth and stone
for another dawn to come undone. Words stay the same
whether we forget them or not, as the things you tell us
the echo of the wind will send to someone somewhere else.


In the centre of its shadow
there is no other sound
but the slow inflections of the wind
where rivers run like scars. 
The moon hangs quietly
in the blackened air, halved and emptied,
decaying since dusk. We’ve scoured the grass
for the last few pieces of it, something to clutch
when the sunlight steps away from us,
edgeways through the wood
without leaving any tracks.
The trees are still lopsided.  
Something to chew or gnaw a little
and swallow when we’re done with it.
Something to pass the time with
before we wander out of sight
at the end of the path
we thought would take us home.
Another door is opening –
there’s movement in the porch.
An entrance has been made for us
now that you know who we are.
I’ll meet you later on then
in the shadow of the house
at the very end of the path
where there is no other sound 
but the slow inflections of the wind
where rivers come back round again.

Patrick Landy is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham researching mathematical constraints in Oulipian poetry.

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