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Bowness on Solway

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  Dog Coal

First low light
the bee loud glade
is electric

swallows peg the lines
with chatter

word is out
that the Perseids
are to fall

the saltmarsh sifts
flecks of iron

from the chain gang
there comes a song
of hate

lost in the sun
baked mud cracks

startled by spray
the lizard
forgets its tail

a curling bookmark
in between chapters

on the Mountains of the Moon
giant heathers
living obelisks

the goatherd steps
over our sleeping bag

it’s a job to know
whose feet are these
bundled in knots

a catafalque
from Port of Valletta

that night
the mourners broke
all the windows

each frozen puddle
invites another jump

dog coal
spits and crackles
on the hooky mat

toast with its own
black holes

the Mars Probe

all the Trekkies
pull their ears

mare’s tails
still belong
in this world

stand up to the Firth.

from sea to sea
renga along Hadrian’s Wall (2003-04)
a nijuuin renga in Autumn
Bowness on Solway, September 10, 2004

Alec Finlay (master)
Martin Lucas (host)
Beth Rowson (co-ordinator)
Morven Gregor
Irene Leake
Denise Crellin
Ann Ward