And brazenly, the seagull swoops
to the ground, flying in like a fighter jet,
with beady eyes, wings the colour of clouds.
Its clarion cry is pitched against the rumble
of some machine as it searches
among the desiccated fridges,
a rusted TV set, the rotting innards
of discarded plastic bags. The call it gives
is one of seaweed and kelp, the sting
of salt on the wind as the tide rushes in.
But here it is, on terrain thick with broken bottles,
sticks and mouldy fishing nets, the sickly stench
of waste a weight in the summer air.
It is one of life’s scavengers, the garbage can
of birds, ungainly looking, brash, and yet
can glide across the skyline with a grace
we cannot share, rooted as we are to the land.
@2014 Louise Hastings
As darkness falls
the sky is shot with red
and here is where the wood
thins out, opens into a field of souls,
and all that’s good and gentle
bleeds off through the night.
There is no hope in this
and they come to burn the dead
hidden by a sweep of cloud
and a fading moon. We watch
to witness whatever truth there is,
and wait for morning to weep
across the trees, raw as ripped out roots.
©2013 Louise Hastings
The Perseid meteor shower is sparked every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle. (Photo: Darren Wood/Twitter)
Summer is passing
and I wonder
where all the voices go,
the ones that never end
rising in a cacophony
of noise, spit and dust.
Would they stop
if they could hear her wild lament
before the darkness closes in?
They line up along the street
to protest their unfair fate
while in the road the vans
announce their message: “GO HOME”
and all I see is mess and black austerity,
blood and hate, but what do I know?
Only that I wished upon a falling star tonight.
And they will predict their rainfall,
declare their wars, but we can
turn their lies into truth,
and when the world turns violent
I can think of brightness, the beyond
and always my love for you.
©2013 Louise Hastings
Photo by Louise Hastings
That summer was one of storms,
electric blue on glass, voices
which turned to silence, black and white.
I stood awake drawn to the deeper thrum,
the darker light – which is not its absence,
but the moonshine off the surface of the sea.
A waking dream perhaps, of sun on leaf,
on purple flower, sun on the backs
of children playing on the sandy shore.
A bee drifts by, hangs in the heavy air
and what I feel here lasts a lifetime,
the sea and sun, the sky full of birdsong.
In the blue along the horizon, a cry
from a seabird carries on the wind,
and with its call and the drone of the bee
still in my ear, I hear its note, its music
somehow blurred, somehow dimmed
and the heart it breaks is mine.
© Louise Hastings 2013
When the sun descends beneath winter clouds
the jackals circle in a deep wood
out where the frozen grass lays under frost light.
They pant hotly on the soil, pressed close
as we pass – saliva drips, a gash for a mouth –
seeking earth’s exposed nerve, riches, death.
These are the hours, all that might be lost,
hopes dissolving with the melting snow,
loss lingering in the dark like the hill fog.
They are laughing now; hear the callous disregard
while earth’s watchers, bathed in moonlight
remain the keepers of this dying star.
Copyright @Louise Hastings 2013