Friday, November 18, 2016

Carol Watts, Occasionals again

Young elm, 15th November 2016


Something of an evacuation of light. Persists,
it knows the ending of day. Approaches, it turns
towards heat as love might. Deep in the earth,
rotting gently, sweat. Of leaves, skin's sudden
exposure. Plane trees, in intentional mottling
effect, sun spots. Ruching....

....  Trees cascade, rust hoards, are coin.

....  It is the way woodsmoke brings
life forward, strong as leather, the way yesterday
always joins. With. Scenting tomorrow, its yellow
haunting.  ....

These are extracts from one of the two poems for October 31st.  All of the poems in Occasionals are 28 lines long.  The thought in each poem is fantastically interlaced, so that quoting a few favourite lines, like here, feels like a disjointing: what's quoted is good, yet  I'm aware the meaning of the goodness is largely lost.

That poem was, somewhat, about leaf-fall, but also about love, injustice, SAD, and its contrary... There's also rain in the air, and the watery element musters in larger forces in the  next poem, XVII (24th November - the last poem in autumncuts). Indeed, now it's beginning to flood.

    .... Looking at his feet, they already push.
Through the flow, the child stamps.

And it's getting dark, no sun but "possible light". Earlier in the poem,

                  .... Before an Atlantic
storm, with hours of quiet rising. Weakness,
in light, lays down to rest. The falling out
of purpose.

Later remembered in the resting birds' "fatigue of alarm", this weakness, being necessary and to come, is nevertheless the season's potential. From a certain point of view this weakness is, will be, strength. But that's rather a drastic reconfiguration of values. How do we, or the complaining cat outside the window, negotiate it?



Yet light reverses sameness, the word. Latte is a witness-board
around the cardboard hedge, the corrugated leaf. And not.
To drink deeply, but. The cone is acquisition, yet equation.
For the rain soaks also along, and can wade on pegs.
To sup laterally, the going down of. These golden fish,
for the heron to stick at. Because Nationwide they say baulked
at the hydrant, or the tap stuck, shallowing
the serrate dorsals. But more rain overnight.
To clear this suspicion of a dwelling. On the
motions of the, several traffics, following
each other out. As rinsed of old use. How she said as we
cleared, they say in the footings to the
medical centre, and rehearsals from it.
A bus-shelter draws. A flare of sun
in the plastic windows comes down. The street, as if.
So they do. The leaves wink and in the afternoon, morning,
for noon never steeples. The naked imaginings of
summer hill-forts, move in the occluded
more freely perhaps. There is a Morkerseende.
Whose space we frolic. And the large windows
open as for fitness, should a child stray in it
buoyed by reassurance. Or the continuance of home eggs.
As if the timetables came to know upon the coops.
Mostly, it is. But how do we know where to go without.
These elders, turning with a light upon the stairs. Into
a space so surrounding. Out into, as we say, the closing
of home behind, whose waiting was known so long
it's still experienced lost. Not known as a base camp.

Elm leaves, 15th November 2016

[I'm no expert on elms but if I had to make a guess I'd say this is one of the Ulmus minor x glabra hybrids, perhaps a Huntingdon Elm: a lattice pattern on the bark (below) is said to distinguish Huntingdon Elm from Dutch Elm. At any rate, it definitely isn't U. procera (English Elm) or U. glabra (Wych-elm).]

Elm bark

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