Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Kilners

In April three poems were published at The Clearing. Here's one - follow the link to their beautiful site for the others...

The Kilners

Two men ignited the bones of the past
one Monday, late in the year’s dark corner.

Boats weighed anchor off the Ness on Tuesday,
awaiting high tide and a hold of lime.

By Wednesday combustion was well progressed,
with a caustic stench and skin-peeling heat.

In Thursday’s moonlight the smoke ascended
like the twisted spire of Ermington church.

On Friday the pall-bearer night wore no gloves;
it shattered wherever it laid its pale hand.

Only the blistering lime kiln was spared
and the two men who slept close to its wall

flanking their deadly charge. During the night
the young burner rolled into the fire.

Whether the boy was choked by toxic smoke
or wooed the heat too closely none could say,

but he burned with insufficient fuss
to rouse the slumbering quarryman.

Saturday the kiln was cooling, ticking down
to Sunday when his riddlings could be raked.


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