Melancholia (or, when you become winter)

Beautifully Bruised (on Exmoor’s Dunkery Beacon) – A Poem

Death followed her there, in burnt-umber magnificence he lay
scorching away all trace of the living, the Baron of barren

nestled in the moor’s shadowy cleavage, the sea, slab of icy steel
on which she floats, a cadaver awaiting post mortem cuts in the cold

tissue-paper skin, exposed, beautifully bruised inside
On a crag, a hawthorn tree bent in toil, an old crone scratching

an existence, mocking with bony fingers, arthritic
cackling in the wake of each zipping car, people rushing by

in other worlds, fleeting dervishes
not noticing her, high above her sorrows, above the cracks and

folds in the landscape hiding crumbs of despair, disappointment’s litter
A derelict mouse, a tiny bird’s jutting ribs the gateway for crawling things

Tiredness calcifies her bones as she lowers herself, serenely entombed
in the briars, the gorse and sprigs of long-lost heather

letting the moss creep, creep over her mouth and eyes
filling her lungs with cool sweet green, always touching her

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